Lend Me A Kitten
I will lend to you for a while a kitten, God said.
For you to love while he lives, and mourn when he's dead.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years, or maybe two or three.
But will you, 'till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you and should his stay be brief,
you'll always have his memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught below I want this kitten to learn.
I've looked the whole world over in search of teachers true,
And from the folk that crowds life's land I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take my kitten home again?
And my heart replied, "My Lord, Thy Will Be Done."
For all the joys this kitten brings, the risk of grief I'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may.
And for the happiness that we've known, forever grateful stay.
But should you call him back much sooner than we planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.
If by our love we've managed your wishes to achieve,
in memory of his sweet sweet love, please help us while we grieve.
When our cherished kitten departs this world of strife,
Please send yet another needing soul for us to love all his life.
Adapted from the poem "To All Parents",
by Edgar A. Guest [1881-1959]