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Once upon a time lived Bambino the pup

Who said that he’d be there but never showed up.

Then he’d say “I’m sorry — my day got too busy!”

As he sat on the couch with his squeezie toy Lizzie.


His friends all knew that Bambino was flaky.

Their confidence in him had always been shaky.

“He canceled again!” said Marino the cat.

“You really can’t trust him,” snarled Reno the rat.


But when he was there, Bambino was great!

The life of the party, your very best mate!

So his friends kept inviting him, hoping he’d come

When he didn’t, they shouted, “That ungrateful bum!”


“He doesn’t respect us! He’s selfish and rude!

I even made steakbones—his favorite food!”

Bambino said sorry multiple times

Assuming it was plenty to cover his crimes.


But Marino was done, he was mad, he was peeved

And thought Bambino’s “sorry” could not be believed.

“If he really meant it, he’d change his bad habit

Next time I’ll instead invite Dino the rabbit.”


So Reno went over to Bambino’s den

And told him, “Say you’re sorry to Marino again,

And this time explain that you know it was wrong

To say that you’re coming and string us along.”


But Bambino the puppy still didn’t get it.

He thought that Marino would just forget it.

So what if Bambino didn’t attend?

How would that hurt his feline friend?


Whenever this oopsie had happened before

The next invitation showed up at his door.

Bambino said, “Reno, don’t overreact!”

“Bambino?” said Reno. “This is called tact.”


Reno tipped his rat cap and skittered away

And Bambino the pup went about his day.

Did not call Marino, just played on the floor

And barked when the mailman walked up to his door.


Bambino reflected on his talk with Reno

Batted his paw and said, “Man, what does he know?

Life should be fun, not an obligation.

Besides, who can resist this setter-dalmatian?”


“I’m so fun, they won’t dare pass an invite injunction

I bet I’ll still get an invite to the next function,”

Said Bambino, while wagging his puppy dog tail

Then he sat by the door and waited for mail.


But Marino the cat, who was planning a feast,

Ranked all of his friends from the best to the least

He counted his chairs and sent one invite per

“Well that’s that,” he declared while grooming his fur.


The animals raved ‘bout the upcoming party

But Bambino’s invite appeared to be tardy.

All week he was nervous ‘bout missing the mail

When it came, he lost control of his tail.


He flung open the mailbox, it caused quite a stir

There must be an invite! Of this he was sure.

As he waved to his neighbor, Geno the skunk

He realized the mailman had only brought junk.


Marino’s party was just two sleeps away

And Bambino was starting to feel like a stray.

So he knocked on the rat hole where lived his friend Reno

And said, “Hey buddy. It’s your friend Bambino.


“I feel so left out to not be invited

I can’t believe cats could be so shortsighted!

Does Marino think his party will be better

Without this half-dalmatian, half-Irish setter?”


Reno shook his head, put down his mozzarella

And said, “Bambino, young pup, what did I tell ya?

You owe it to friends to show up when you say

Or your invites and buddies will all go away.”


Bambino whimpered and made puppy dog eyes

“I was just having fun,” he said through his cries.

“Say you’re sorry,” said Reno, “It’s time to grow up,

When you mean it, you’ll become a better pup.”


He walked to Marino’s, his tail ‘tween his legs

He now understood why a sad puppy begs.

“Marino,” he said. “I’ve been such a fool,

I realize why standing you up is uncool.


“You were so cordial, and I was so selfish

Please accept my regret and this plate of shellfish.”

Marino was guarded, though he wanted the squid.

“What, may I ask, do you think that you did?”


Bambino sighed, put his paw on his snout

And said, “Well, I never even once thought about

How much time and work you put into each bash

And to take that for granted is boorish and brash.”


Marino’s eyes narrowed, like cats often do.

He said, “Twenty are coming but I can seat twenty-two,

If you’re free tomorrow, you’re newly invited

And after this explanation, I would be delighted.”


Bambino jumped and fought hard to resist

Licking his friend with a slobbery kiss.

He was the happiest pup in all of the town.

“Thank you Marino! I won’t let you down!”


“Not so fast,” said Marino, his tail a-swishing.

“There’s one more thing that I have been wishing.

Cleanup is a drag, would be great if you helped.”

“That’s what friends are for!” young Bambino yelped.


All of the guests had a marvelous time

Then the dalmatian-setter washed away spots and grime

Bambino and Marino felt friendship’s fix…

Who says you can’t teach a young dog new tricks?

Kelaine Conochan

The editor-in-chief of this magazine, who should, in all honesty, be a gym teacher. Don’t sleep on your plucky kid sister.

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