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The Stray Lamb – A Grandmother’s Story
by [?]

“Why Lucy, my girl, you are sleeping!–
Come, rouse up, and get us some tea!”–
It was John, who’d returned, and was speaking–
“Poor wife, you’re as cold as can be!
See, here are some coals for the firing;
And here is a nice loaf of bread,–
A steak, and a morsel of butter,
Some tea and some sugar”–he said.
“Nay now, do not ask any questions!–
Let me just lay this lammie in bed,
And when we have had a nice supper,
I’ll tell you, dear, all how it sped.”

And so, when the supper was over–
That supper!–I’ll never forget
The warm, glowing fire–oh, so cozy–
I can see every coal of it yet–
We knelt down, and John thanked the dear Father
For all He had sent us that day;–
Yes: e’en for thee dear, pretty baby
His own little lamb gone astray!

And then, in a few words, John told me
Of his desperate walk in the storm–
Every minute believing, expecting,
That God would His promise perform;–
Of the merchant up town who had hailed him,
(One of his men being sick,)
And hired him to run of a message;
And, because he’d been trusty and quick,
Had trebled his wages, and told him
To come the next morning again;
“Just because,” added John, softly laughing,
“I’d been willing to work in the rain!”

Well, long ere the morning dawned on us,
The child had grown frantic with pain;
And for many long days she lay moaning
With the fever that burned in her brain.
Every morning John prayed by her pillow,
Then went to his work; and I stayed,
And kept my sad watch the long day through,
And at night he returned to my aid.

At length the fierce struggle was over,
She lived, and we both were content,
For we knew God had given her to us–
His lamb, through the wintry storm sent
The fever had burned every record
Of home and friends out of her mind;
And though we sought long, yet we never
Any traces of either could find.

And so she grew up by our fireside,
And we called her–not Maggie–oh no!–
That name we had laid up in Heaven,
And no one must wear it below!–
But we just called her, Pet; and her husband
Calls her nothing but Pet to this day:–
She’s a grown woman now, and a mother,
How swiftly the years glide away!

Well, John never has lacked for employment,
And we never have wanted a home;
We never said nay to a beggar,
Or refused one that asked it a crumb.
Pet grew up a dear, loving woman–
“God’s light in our house,” John would say–
And when a good man came and took her,
He took us, too, the very same day.
But here she comes now with the baby,
And grandmother never says nay;
So here’s a good bye to my story,
For baby has come for a play!