Sweets Thief

Every weekend when Maggie visited her grandfather, he let her choose any piece of candy she wanted from his sweets bowl. Her favorites were butterscotch candies, twisted in shiny golden wrappers.

Last weekend during Maggie’s visit, it disappointed her to find that he had run out of her favorite sweets.

“What’s wrong?” asked Grandpa, watching Maggie dig in the sweets bowl.

“I can’t find butter candy,” said Maggie.

“Butterscotch,” Grandpa corrected, helping her sort through the candies in the bowl. “Hmmm. I know I put some in there yesterday.” He couldn’t find any butterscotch left in the bowl either.

“Did you eat them all?” asked Maggie.

“No sweetie. I put some out just for you. Maybe I forgot to put them in the bowl. Let me check the kitchen.”

There was a small empty bag of butterscotch candies in the kitchen trash can. But where could they be if he didn’t put them in the candy bowl?

Her grandfather went back to the dining room to give Maggie the bad news. The butterscotch had vanished. And he had no idea what could have happened to them.

That is, he had no idea until he walked by the living room. A little flash of golden light caught his eye from near the window. He went over to investigate, and Maggie came running behind him.

It was a butterscotch candy, lying on the living room floor next to Grandpa’s favorite chair.

“Now how did that get here?” asked Grandpa.

“Look!” squealed Maggie, falling to the floor to crawl behind the chair. “Here’s another one!”

Her grandfather joined her on the floor, and sure enough, he pulled out several more pieces of golden candy. He reached under the chair too, and feeling a hole in the chair’s lining, he reached inside. When his hand emerged, it was filled with butterscotch, caramels, and other wrapped sweets.

“Why did you hide candy in your chair Grandpa?”

“I didn’t. But I think I know who did,” he answered, looking at the sofa across the room. There sat a gray ball of fur, watching them intently with an annoyed look on its face. “I don’t think old Dusty is happy that we found his secret stash,” he said.

Dusty forgave them quickly when Maggie crossed the room to give him a good scratch behind the ears. After all, he could find another hiding spot later.


Author’s Note: This story was inspired by a real “sweets thief,” my cat named Tubs. I used to keep wrapped candies out for guests, until I noticed that some had gone missing. It turns out Tubs had torn a hole in the bottom of my living room chair (which I didn’t even think he could get under at the time).

He would swipe wrapped candies one at a time and store them in the chair’s lining for later (along with other things, including money!). He never actually ate the candy, but instead thinks they’re toys because he likes the crinkling sound of the wrappers. Here’s a photo of Tubs with a caramel candy. 

Sweets Thief

The Big Win

Grandpa’s funeral occurred not even two weeks ago. Mom recently lost her job. And my parents forced Grandma to move out of her home, and in with us, because they didn’t think she could take care of herself without Grandpa. The atmosphere in the Tucker household was solemn at best.

That made it all the more surprising when dad came home from work looking ecstatic, calling for a family meeting.

Mom, Dad, Grandma, my brothers Frank and Bill, and I gathered in the living room for the big news.

“We won!” shouted Dad. “We friggin’ won!” He bounced around like an excited school boy.

“We won what?” asked Mom.

“The lottery! We won the lottery. With all the crap this family has been through, we finally caught a break. We won the damn lottery! Three million dollars!”

Dad’s frozen grin stared back at us as we all sat in stunned silence.

“No way,” said Frank. “You read the numbers wrong.”

“Yeah,” said Bill. “Let us see the ticket.”

Dad ran into the kitchen.

“Where is it?” he yelled from the other room. “Susan, where did you put the ticket?”

“I didn’t put it anywhere,” said Mom. “I read you the numbers when you called this morning, but I didn’t move it.”

Dad stormed back into the living room.

“Alice, Mom, boys.” He paused, looking each of us in the eye, one by one. “Where is the lottery ticket I stuck on the fridge?”

My brothers and I shrugged, and grandma flipped the television on, bored with her son’s tantrum. That’s when we saw the six o’clock news.

“A local church received a surprising gift today,” said the anchor. “An anonymous donor left a winning lottery ticket for the preacher — a ticket worth three million dollars. The church plans to use the money for much-needed repairs and outreach programs for the poor.”

My dad’s eyes looked like they might pop out of his head. I thought he might faint. His eyes darted around the room, wondering who robbed him of his big win.

I didn’t. My mom wouldn’t without consulting my dad first. And while my brothers always looked guilty of something, I doubted it was either of them. No, only one person could have donated the lottery ticket.

Grandma grinned, fixated on the local preacher gushing thanks on TV. She showed dad that day. Grandma was perfectly capable of taking care of herself, and still able to teach her son an occasional lesson.