Thieves!

When I was little, my parents would store their sweets (usually licorice but sometimes other sweets too) on a shelf just within my and my sister’s reach in their pantry. I’m pretty sure they’d tried putting them in higher places but we’d just climb up stairs or other furniture to reach them.

Invariably, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, when my parents slept in, I’d lead my sister to the pantry and we’d steal some sweets. Yes, I am pretty sure I took the lead.

I obviously thought they were unaware. That is, until one day when I was five and had just learned to read. There it was, on the sweets shelf, a paper that read “BOEVEN” in large print. This is Dutch for “crooks” or “thieves”. My parents never actually confronted us about grabbing their candy except on this one playful occasion.

In reality though, I still wasn’t truly aware that my parents knew. In fact, I remember one day when I was about fifteen, my parents had left like eight hamburgers on a plate in the kitchen and I sneaked into it to eat one at a time. My parents never confronted me and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized they must’ve known. That is when the shame at having eaten this many hamburgers caught up with me.


This post was written for Friday Writings, for which the optional prompt this week is food. It is a an autobiographical piece.

27 thoughts on “Thieves!

    1. Oh haha, that’s interesting. I never stole that, except if you count my drinking the last sips from the empty beer bottles as a baby, like I mentioned in another reply.

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  1. I’m sure most kids have done some version of that, and thought they were getting away with it – and it seems that many parents pretend, at least for a while, not to know, though of course they must. At different stages I and my siblings (alone or together) stole sweets, and later ciggies and alcohol.

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  2. I was my home’s fruit thief. And contrary to your experience, everyone knew it was me–but they could rarely prove it. I was very sneaky, and would climb a tree or head to the river with the evidence of my thievery. My grandmother never confronted me about eating the fruit. Then, one day, I ate all the eggs in one of her birds’ nests and all hell broke loose!

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  3. I suppose many kids steal. And that there are several notes left here and there. At home I was to either hang my clothes up or put them in a pile on the floor so Mom could decide whether or not to wash them. Once she found a cigarette lighter in my pants pocket and left me a note about it. Never said a word about me smoking. She didn’t know I had pilfered the nice lighter or there would have been lots of words.
    I didn’t steal their food. I found out later that Dad had a candy horde in the shop, had I known sooner I would have taken some I am sure. I did steal a pack of cigarettes from my uncle’s car. Gave my little sister one, she smoked two, got sick, and never smoked again.
    ..

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    1. Oh, that’s such an interesting tale. I never smoked except for a puff here and there. Am pretty sure my parents, both of whom used to be smokers, even let me try their cigs. I did drink the last few drips from the empty beer bottles as a baby though. Guess that taught me a lesson, as I can’t stand alcoholic beverages now.

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  4. ” obviously thought they were unaware. That is, until one day when I was five and had just learned to read. There it was, on the sweets shelf, a paper that read “BOEVEN” in large print. ”

    that is cute, so glad you shared with us, i enjoyed your tale

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  5. I loved your BOEVEN tale, and I suspect we’ve all engaged in BOEVEN acts at one time or another. I remember taking chocolates, then rearranging those left so no one would find one missing.

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  6. My grandmother kept a treasure box full of jujubes and candy. It was such a treat when she took it from the buffet and we could choose a treat or two. (Also dutch so this made me smile because sometimes my cousins and I would sneak the treats too!)

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