By Julia Abelsohn
You know you shouldn’t do it. You’ve been brought up in a good, Christian household, so—by now—you know right from wrong. But the temptation is just too great. It’s only little things at first, change from your mother’s purse or the coin box in the kitchen; however, one day, you are feeling really bold and you take a ten-dollar bill from your father’s wallet. The exhilaration of that pulses through your body, and you feel like a secret agent that has stolen the nation’s secrets.
You buy little bags of candy from the corner store for all of your friends; that way it’s not like the money is all for you, so that doesn’t really make it wrong. You are like Robin Hood, you tell yourself.
Just yesterday, Marie Govier sat beside you in the lunchroom, and you noticed that her fingernails were ringed with dirt and her stockings were torn. You gave her twenty-five cents and invited her to come across the road with you to buy candy. She looked like she was going to cry, but instead she offered you a carrot stick from her lunch. Later in the day, you noticed that her tongue was bright red from the jelly beans that she’d been eating, and that made you feel happy.
That happy feeling stays with you all the way home, but nothing could prepare you for the storm that greets you there. First one, then the other, of your parents starts questioning you; they sit you down as they loom over you. You start to feel the room getting far too hot, but they won’t let you get up to open the window. Their voices are getting louder and louder, but you can’t hear the words anymore, and it is all getting a little too much—then your father gets up and starts to take off his belt.
It is in that moment that you see the mousehole, and using all of your superpowers you start shrinking, right on the seat that you are in. You shrink, smaller and smaller, until there is nothing left of you but a tiny, little girl that is small enough to fit through the mousehole and disappear into the wall.
“I’m going to give you something to remember,” your father says, holding the belt up in the air, over your head. “This will make you think twice about stealing.”
Little does he realize that you cannot hear him because you are long gone, out of the room, out of the house, and outside in the sunshine, far, far, far away from where anyone can hurt you.