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Lost Causes

It was October 28th, the feast day of the patron saint of lost causes. Which was a perfect description of the family’s chances of getting to church on time that morning. Everyone was running around the house shouting things like, “Where’s my purse?” or “Why doesn’t the baby have any pants on?”

            When they were finally ready, Estrella pointed a tiny finger at the garage and exclaimed gleefully, “¡Perrito!”
            “Puppy?” thought Juanita.

            Their parents arrived at the door together. Following Estrella’s gaze, they spotted a small, furry face peering out from under the car.

            “We have to keep him! Please!” they pleaded, scooping up the ball of fur.

            Mami looked confused. “Someone must have lowered him in through the bars.”

            “Well,” Papi sighed, “maybe we can make it to the next service.”

            The months passed, and Pedro grew. And grew. And grew. Then one night, Juanita jumped awake. The back door had opened! She crept downstairs in time to see Papi returning through it.

            “It was a robber,” he grinned, hugging Juanita tight. “But all I saw were his legs as he scrambled back up the wall. Pedro scared him off!”

            “Thank you, Saint Jude!” she whispered in the darkness.

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