An old man and his old robot are visited at Christmastime by his young and obnoxious nephew. During the course of the visit, the boy tries everyone’s patience sorely and in the end provokes an entirely unexpected reaction from the robot.

A late robot story, and a fairly weak one. Its theme—a robot imagining itself as being without the Three Laws—ties in with other late robot stories, such as “Robot Dreams” and “—That Thou Art Mindful of Him,” or, for that matter, “The Bicentennial Man.” Here, however, there is no real examination of the issue so much as a simple toss-off of the idea for the sake of a memorable ending. As I say, a weak story on the whole.

In fact, it is so weak, that I hadn’t even noticed that I failed to review it until I was preparing a review of Robots from Asimov’s.

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