Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One Quarter Thief

Me. Sigh.
What you are about to read may be shocking. You may even want to re-think continuing your friendship with me.
I’m a thief.
Well . . . a would-be thief. If I’d gotten away with it, who knows where I’d be now.
Maybe I should explain . . .
I was nine.
Mom was chatting in the front room with one of her friends. Their discussion had turned to something that said friend was interested in purchasing from Mom.
Goods were produced and delivered.
Exclamations of surprise and delight. (Okay, I’m assuming here.)
Friend’s handbag appeared.
Was opened.
And a coin purse came into view.
A number of quarters were counted out and cradled in friend’s hand.
To this point, all was above board, friendly and honest.
But this is where bright-eyed, slightly avaricious Diane came into the picture.
Mom turned to me. “Diane, could you please bring me the money?”
I nodded, my eyes already on the gleaming silver in the woman’s hand. I moved closer and held out my hand. She tipped hers and poured the pile of coins into mine.
And that’s when my heinous plan was hatched.
There were a lot of coins. Surely Mom wouldn’t notice if just one went missing?
Deftly (?), I sneaked one quarter into my other pocket as I turned and walked over to Mom - duly delivering the treasure.
Then, task completed, I dashed upstairs with my booty (ie. Ill-gotten gains), already planning how I was going to spend it.
A few minutes later, I vaguely heard the front door close.
And then my Mom was standing in my bedroom doorway.
“Diane, we need to talk.”
Uh-oh.
She sat on my bed and held out her hand with the quarters in it.
I looked at them. Then at my Mom. “Ummm . . . yeah?”
“Diane, one of the quarters is missing.”
“Really?” My brain started turning frantically. “A quarter?”
“Diane, did you steal a quarter?”
“Umm . . .”
“Diane?”
“Maybe it dropped. You know, when I took the change? On the floor? I’ll go look.” And I escaped out of the door and into the front room where I quickly (before my Mom could get there and see what I was doing) flipped the coin under our recent guest’s chair.
Then, dropping to my hands and knees, I miraculously, ‘found’ it moments later. Holding it out proudly in my hand, I presented it to Mom. “It was there! See?”
Mom nodded and took the coin. Then looked at me.
With a ‘Mom’ look.
Yikes.
“Don’t ever take anything that doesn’t belong to you, Diane.”
“But I dropped . . .”
“Okay?”
I nodded unhappily. How had she seen through my clever subterfuge?
My career as a thief ended that day.
I obviously didn’t have the ‘knack’.
Mom saw to that.

25 comments:

  1. I'm glad your career as a thief is over. I really would not want to visit you in jail.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The temptations of our childhood. It the truth be told, we never completely get over the temptation part; it's with you every day. Giving into it once sets off a chain of events that soon gets out of control. Aren't you glad Mom was there to point things out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely am. I was not cut out for the 'hiding the crime' mind set.

      Delete
  3. I was just dealing with an untruthful child this weekend. I had a tiny doubt for a moment that she really was telling the truth because she was just so insistent and I think she could see it. I stuck to it and firmly told her I knew she was lying. I hope she remembers that day as you do! Thank you for commenting on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They remember! I enjoyed my visit. It was so fun meeting your family!

      Delete
  4. I think we feel most guilty about the things we "get away" with! You came up with a plan to get out of trouble, and all you got was a mom look, but you still remember it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forever and ever. I just don't seem to have the criminal mind set . . .

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Mom always says to do your best. Umm . . .

      Delete
  6. Your mom, on the other hand, HAD the knack, albeit a different one :) And this is why having good parents is so critical - we learn stuff from them!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wonder if parents today would even notice...at all....

    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. I'll tell you . . . nothing got past her!

      Delete
  9. Wow. Your mom really had your number, didn't she? Thank you for tossing your hat into the ring at the Party Under The Big Top! I hope to see you again next week!
    #BigTopBlogParty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mary! I love your Party Under the Big Top. What a great way to meet new people! And I love that it's family friendly!

      Delete
  10. Your Mom sounds like she was wise and knew you very well! I have a child that has tried to slip a thing or two past me and somehow I have just always known what this child was up to!

    We’re so glad you were able to make it over to the #BigTopBlogParty this week! Hope to see you again at the next Party Under the Big Top too!

    Wishing you a fabulous week!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus
    #BigTopBlogParty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Lysa! I think I'm in good company . . .

      Delete
  11. Good for your mom. I often wonder if the reason kids get away with bad behavior is because nobody calls them out on it early on. If you'd been successful in your thievery, you might have tried again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The earlier the better for sure, Theresa! I shudder to think . . .

      Delete
  12. Ah yes, we've all been there although you were very crafty at such a young age! I was in the 7th grade and there was a headband I really wanted (think Olivia Newton John) so I took it. I got in the car with mom in the back and opened it up and put it in my pocket but then left the rapper laying in the car. Which both of my parents found. My father was a fireman so he called one of his friends (a police officer) who put the fear of God into me. Then I had to take it back to the store give it to the manager and apologize. It was very traumatizing, but it NEVER happened again that's for sure! Lesson learned!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of those lessons just . . . stick! :)

      Delete
  13. Your smart mom saved you from a life of crime :)

    ReplyDelete

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