THE PIE THIEF, by Kim Smith(copyrighted)
I stared at the empty plate where a cartoon Santa grinned up at me. It couldn’t be. I had saved that last piece of pumpkin pie for my midnight snack. It was gone! My mouth watered for that piece of pie all through dinner. But I was good. I wasn’t going to eat my dessert until later. Later after the clearing away, the cleaning up, all the washing up.
Who had snuck in here after the kitchen was closed?
Was it Bobby? He had been licking his lips every time he passed the table. My husband the pie inhaler. What about Cindy? She even commented on it! But no, she didn’t really go for pie. Well, maybe a luscious chocolate French Silk. And besides, she had eaten enough Iced Orange Cookies to last a lifetime.
I edged around the table checking out the crumb trail. My new red and white Noel tablecloth would definitely need laundering after this holiday, I decided after running a finger over it and coming away with leftover food. I covered the candy dish a little tighter and tried to decide who had taken the pie. The delicious, moist, nutmeg-ish slice of heaven on a plate…was gone.
I would put this mystery together. I walked to the kitchen and looked in the sink. It had been completely void of anything when I’d left it only a few hours before.
Yep. Plate in the stainless steel with napkin and fork lying on top. Whoever the thief had been, they’d been neat. But wait…
Not neat enough! Not nearly tricky enough to outsmart me. I knew who always placed their dishware that way. There was only one family member who was so lazy they didn’t even put their napkin in the garbage can. I giggled. So lazy they had to be reminded three times to take the garbage OUT.
I strolled to the family room on my mission of revenge and was stopped by the lovely lights on the tree. It cast a strange kind of glow over the room where gifts nestled here and there. Poinsettias peeked down from the top of the bookcase. Tinsel glittered in the light’s happy reflection. The warm of love and holiday favor filled the room.
Bobby was softly snoring in the bedroom, and Cindy was cuddled up on the couch with the dog. The pie thief was tucked asleep in his bed, out of sight. I had planned on going upstairs to Danny’s room to snatch his covers off and wake him up. Vengeance for that pie I had slaved over.
But Danny, the pie thief, would probably mutter and grumble and roll over to go back to sleep. My midnight attack would be fruitless.
Settling in my chair in front of the fire, I gave up the idea. I could make another pie. I couldn’t recapture the beauty of a house filled with peace and goodwill, however. I smiled to myself as I enjoyed the dying fire and the twinkling lights. A whiff of pine scent overcame me–cementing me in place.
This was what mattered. Peace, hope, and goodwill.
Merry Christmas to me, I thought. Well done, well done.