Once upon a time,
at the edge of the woods,
there was an itsy bitsy house with a teeny tiny door.
One day, after sitting empty for a great long while,
the little house heard itty bitty footsteps
on its {off-the-beaten} path.
The little cottage trembled with delight
as a little boy approached.
He was perfect:
just the right size, with a twinkle in his eye!
The little boy could tell right away
that this house was very lonely.
“I will love you,” he said as he stepped inside.
The tiny door creaked, 
happily welcoming the home’s super-duper special and long-awaited guest.
The little boy invited a trusted companion – his daddy – to come inside.
“But no one else,” he insisted.
And as he repeated the same word over and over, 
“mine, mine, mine,”
the little house sighed, 
smitten with its loyal and loving visitor.
The little house felt so cared for and protected
as the sweet boy peered out of its windows,
on the lookout for potential intruders –
whether a tiny critter or a big brother.
“You’re okay,” he whispered.

Meanwhile, the little boy felt equally elated,
so thrilled to discover that, hidden on this giant, spinning planet, 
there was a pint-sized house seemingly made just for him.
He could think of no place he’d rather be.

So, when it came time
for the little boy to leave the little house,
both the boy and the house were very, very sad.

“But we’ll come back again,” said the boy’s daddy.
“And the house will be right here, waiting for you.”
The little boy closed the door and wiped his tears.

And as he skipped away,
down the {off the beaten} path,
he turned around and waved to the pretty little cottage.
“Goodbye, house,” he said.

And though it looked awfully empty once again,
the house was actually fuller than full,
thanks to the great, big love the little boy had left behind.