Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Biscuit Police

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”
-Elizabeth Lawrence

When my brother and I were little I remember a big commotion in our house. My mother had one day put her hand idly in the biscuit box, intending to fetch for herself a chocolate snack, but her searching fingers instead touched a torn piece of paper and some scattered crumbs.
The message, scrawled, unsettling and anonymous, was this: "Ta for the biccies. Yum yum." There were no biscuits- or biccies, as we fondly called them- left inside the box. The strange culprit had even expressed gratitude, conveyed with brevity in the succinct word 'ta.'
The next few hours were filled with interrogation of such gravity that I recall it to this day.
Who wrote the note? we were asked over and over, it being most unlike either of us to perform such a practical joke.
If it was not my brother's work, and it was not mine, then, we were warned, it must have been an intruder and the police would have to be called. That, as hoped, terrified both my brother and I but, in its own way made the matter far worse, such that admitting to the act was no longer an option.
Unfortunately, undermining the seriousness of the matter and perhaps, conversely, because of it, I laughed each time the question was posed to me. My mirth, quite out of order, was like a brilliantly lit flame of guilt rising above my head. But I had not committed the biscuit-crime and it was a wholly innocent head.
I suspected my brother, but he denied it, denied it steadfastly for hours until the fellow broke down and confessed all, finally exonerating me.
The police were never called- of course- and remained only a vague threat- but their very mention was enough to cause trepidation in the youngest heart.
I recollect no reason why my brother saw fit to eat all the biscuits that afternoon and leave a nonsensical note in their stead; but his was a deed that was surely written with indelible ink.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Non-quilty laughter has gotten me into trouble on occasion as well. This is a wonderful story.

Beth said...

When I was young, our special family favorite was pecan pie. One time there was about half a pie left after a dinner party and my mother had it in a covered pie tin. She picked up the tin before dinner and it was heavy so she assumed there was still plenty in there for our dessert. Imagine her surprise when she opened it after dinner and it was filled with stones--my brother was the culprit too but instead of a cut little note he had weighted it down so his crime would go undetected for a few hours.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Pamela, I always laugh when I'm not supposed to- something about the pressure!

Beth, I love that story! And nicely told. How clever of your brother ;) I would never have thought of it.

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