Food For A Thief
Food would go missing from our pantry at an alarming rate, no one would ever own up to stealing it. Our mother was a dear simple soul; her only concern in life was seeing that her brood were well fed, loved, honest and polite. Being allowed to run unfettered and unwashed mattered little as long as we obeyed her rules and were happy.
The matter of the missing food became a pressing problem to my mother as the precious stuff was rationed and always in short supply. As the age old adage said, necessity is the mother of invention. Our mother knew that to discover the culprit she would have to be as sneaky as the thief, and invent a foolproof way of catching the culprit.
It was one of those glorious days of childhood that seem to live in the memory when all the horrid things of life have long been forgotten. We were at our usual haunt, naked as jay birds, splashing about at big willow, our name for that part of the River Sence that flowed shallow and narrow on the outskirts of the Village.
We had been given a simple picnic of cold toast and a bottle of cold tea. When it came time to eat. We all settled in a circle to share the modest but welcome goodies between us when suddenly Degs, white face contorted with agony, clutched his belly, snatched up his clothes and took off across the fields as though all the Hell-hounds of Hades were after him.
We watched him disappear with only a slightly curious interest that children of our age were capable of and carried on sharing out the food.
Podge declaring smugly,
“great that means more for us then”
Later that day, arriving home tired but clean after the only time we ever enjoyed an encounter with water, we discovered poor Degs in the loo, where he had been lodged on and off since leaving us so unceremoniously earlier. In those days the loo was a smelly outside job that had to be emptied once a week by the local sanitation department, in high Summer the pong was riper than a cart load of rotten eggs
Seemingly earlier that morning before the rest of us were even awake Degs had been hungrily foraging for food again and had taken mum’s perfectly positioned bait.
Four squares of delicious dark chocolate… just a pity it was of the laxative kind.