Instead of following his siblings when they all sneak out to play (although their mother has warned them that they can go out and play; but never dig holes under the fences so they can go to other yards), the title character lags behind to observe other things. In the beginning, his independence is rewarded. The puppies had all dug a hole underneath the fence to escape from their yard (instead of playing in their own backyard), but only the Poky Little Puppy’s siblings are caught. The Poky Little Puppy avoids punishment because he is away exploring as his mother scolds his siblings, and he comes home alone after everyone is asleep. The Poky Little Puppy then eats the rice pudding that the mother was planning to give all the puppies but withheld because of the fence-digging incident. He secretly eats up the rice pudding and crawls into bed happy as a lark.