Caught Red-handed

Have you ever been caught with your hand in the cookie jar? There was no doubt you were guilty, but still you denied it? Waiting for Christmas is an unbearable time for kids. While my younger brother and I were growing up, I remember there was still a week to go when we discovered where mom and dad hid the presents. They were on the top shelf of their closet – way out of reach for us, but the knowledge that they were there, right there above our heads was just too much.

Then, one day, mom and dad left the house to visit the neighbors next door. It was our big chance! We quickly assembled our tiny tot wicker chairs, I climbed up to the clothes rod and did a pull up. As my brother held the contraption together, I was able to describe the treasures that were above us. “A cowboy six gun and holster set and it has the pop out darringer belt buckle!” “A Fort Apache play set!” The list went on treasure after childhood treasure. Then we heard the front door open.

Mom and dad were home and there was no escape! Always a quick thinker, I jumped down and told Mike to close the closet door. We sat on our chairs in the dark listening to our parents calling our names. Suddenly the closet door slid open and there we were: two innocent angels.

Dad looked down and asked the obvious question, “What are you boys doing?”

We were guilty and there was no denying it, but still we tried. “Just sitting.”

Mom joined dad and it was all they could do not to breakout laughing, but we needed to be taught a lesson. “Hmm. You’ve been looking at the presents haven’t you?”

“No dad, honest!” I lied. He saw right through me.

“Well, we’ll just have to take them all back to the store.”

“No! No!” Not that! How awful. We were just about to receive everything we dreamed about for Christmas and now they were going back! It was too much. Mom and dad took the presents down from the shelf and packed them up in bags. It was too much! The punishment was too severe.

Fortunately the toys magically appeared beneath the tree on Christmas morning any way, but I learned an important lesson that I’ll never forget: Post a guard on the front porch!

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