The smell of fresh baked cookies was hanging in the air. We were playing outside, we could smell it from a mile away and it drove us crazy. I don’t think there is anything more tempting to a child than a warm, fresh-baked cookie.
“I could go in the kitchen and get one,” I thought, but I knew it wouldn’t work. My Grandmother had eyes everywhere and she could sense things. I don’t know how she did it, but she always knew when I did something wrong.
She never laid a hand on me, but I knew she could -and would- if I wouldn’t behave. I had never gotten a spanking but I had heard about it, and I had seen one -I didn’t want to risk it.
Later on, after dinner, she would hand me a glass of milk and a couple of cookies, but that knowledge didn’t help me. I wanted one now.
I was the worst cookie thief on this planet, I could never hide my tracks, left evidence behind everywhere I went. My Grandmother had the ability to make me talk with just one look; it always worked. She raised her eyebrow, looked at me, and I started confessing.
“I will show you how it’s done,” a neighbor boy said, and I just looked at him. We all laughed, we knew how to steal cookies, but we also knew it never worked. Adults are evil, they count the cookies, that’s why they always know.
He waited until my Grandmother had left the farmhouse, then he walked in. We all felt sorry for him. He would get caught, and he would be in trouble.
A while later he came out, holding a bunch of cookies with both hands. We sat down on the grass and shared our treasure. My Grandmother liked the boy, we all did, and now we would never see him again. He would be killed later on, we just knew. There was no way my Grandmother would not find out.
“You never steal just one cookie,” he explained. “You always take a whole row, this way everything looks normal and they don’t know. ”
What a genius this kid was! He was right, cookies were always laid out in rows of 10 or 12 , they were lined up like little soldiers. They were spread out to cool until they got the final touch. That’s why I always got caught. I only took one or two cookies, and the empty spot I left behind, could be seen by a blind man.
“You mean we can steal more than one?” we asked, and we all smiled. Life would be better from this moment on, this was cookie heaven.
My Grandmother didn’t say a word about it at dinner. There were no raised eyebrows, no Spanish Inquisition. It had worked; I was in awe.
Years later, when I was much older, I confessed and shared my knowledge about How-to-steal-a-cookie, with my Grandmother. She was sick and fragile then; she listened to me, and I saw her eyes watering, she was laughing so hard. “This is genius,” she said, and we both smiled.
I was a good kid; I was good in school and didn’t mess up much but I was a cookie thief, still am until today, ask my friends, they know. 🙂