Carolyn Wells

(1869-1942 / the United States)

A Valuable Gift


Old Father Time, one day
In his study, so they say,
Was indulging in a surreptitious nap,
When from his drowsy dreams
He was wakened, as it seems,
By a timid but persistent little rap.

He yawned and rubbed his eyes
In indolent surprise,
Then slowly he arose from where he sat;
He opened wide his door,
And nearly tumbled o'er
The figure that stood waiting on the mat.

A tiny little dog,
With excitement all agog,
And angry eyes that seemed to flash and glower.
His manner was polite,
But he said, 'I claim my right!
And I've called, sir, to demand of you my hour.'

'Your what?' the old man said,
As he shook his puzzled head;
And the pertinacious puppy spoke with force:
'Well, sir, they often say,
'Every dog must have his day,'
So a puppy ought to have an hour, of course!'

The old man shook with glee,
But he said obligingly,
'The dog days are all gone, I grieve to say;
But since you've come so far,
And so mannerly you are,
I'll give you just an hour--to get away.'

Submitted: Monday, September 13, 2010

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