"Mommy, where's my puppy?" came the plaintive little cry.
"He's wandered off yet again, I imagine," replied I.
"It is dark and cold out there!" shivered the little tot,
"You've got to bring him home to me, and give him something hot."
"He'll turn up soon, he always does," I told her soothingly.
Her eyes went wide with childlike incredulity.
"What if he is lost somewhere?" she asked me with a sob,
Her love was so palpable it made my own heart throb.
I sighed and hugged her like she would her own little dog,
Then got ready for a cold dark nighttime searching slog.
In my defense, the dog regularly ran away from home,
But it was just the neighbor's woods in which he loved to roam.
Like us all, he'd run and chase after his heart's desire
Until he remembered home was where there was love food and fire.
Out I went into the night, her face watching me go;
That I'd return with the puppy no doubt did she show.
When I was barely out of sight, and scarcely called his name,
Out he bounded from the woods, all pleasure and no shame.
"You stupid dog!" I told him as he wagged and leaped on me,
But I smiled thinking of how happy she would be.
In like a shot he went to her when I opened the door.
"You're home!" she squealed and hugged him like I had hugged her before.
"Good good boy for coming home!" she praised her prodigal puppy;
Like the welcome the Master has for prodigal you and me.