I.

Acorn carefully lays his little doggie down in her fluffy dog bed. She immediately jumps up and starts running circles around him again, so delighted is she that he’s home again after two! Whole! Nights! with her boy not here, absent while he was gone to his daddy’s house.

So Acorn picks her up again, and carefully places her fleece blanket over her, tucking it in on all sides until she is only a furry tan head disappearing into a pink mass. “Good dog,” he murmurs. “Good boy.” She waits for him to move away, then bites at the blanket with puppy-play growls until she has defeated it.

“Mommy,” Acorn says to me, “my doggie won’t stay in her bed.”

“She doesn’t have to stay in her bed,” I tell him.

“But she’s being wiggly!”

“That’s because she’s a doggie. Doggies are kind of wiggly.”

He looks thoughtful. “Well. Her could stay in her bed if she wanted to,” he concludes.

II.

Time has passed. Bedtime. Acorn gets his doggie to sit on my lap and pats her. “Aw. She needs her Mommy Doggie and Daddy Doggie. But they’re in bed.”

“They’re in bed?” I ask. “Where?”

He glances around, and finally shrugs. “I don’t know. Somewhere else.”

Leaning down, he pats the dog again, and speaks softly, comfortingly, into her ear. “Aw. Poor doggie. You need your Mommy. You miss her. But that’s okay. I will take care of you now.”

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