TITLE: Cookie Thief
By Michael Ales
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There's a story, I'm not sure where it originated, about a woman named Sally who was waiting for her plane to arrive. She lugged her bags to a concession stand and ordered a cappuccino.
When her drink was ready Sally grabbed some cookies and a newspaper, fumbled for loose change in her purse, and made her way to a nearby table. She plopped her things down, nearly spilling her mocha, and took a seat among the other travelers.
She was halfway through her first cookie and her first page when she heard a curious rustling from behind her newspaper. Was someone taking her cookies?
Sally peered over the top edge of her paper. Sure enough. Her mouth must have dropped open as she witnessed an older professor-type across from her with a graying beard, wire-rimmed glasses, and his hand in the package of cookies.
How could someone do that? He was just helping himself to one of her cookies! Sally raised her paper again to cover a look that would have revealed the sick feeling she had in her stomach.
More rustling. No way! Could he be doing it again? She looked. He was. In response Sally turned the package around and took another cookie herself before she resumed her reading.
He was at it again. Now she was getting frustrated and angry at the behavior of her tablemate. She put her paper down and took the next-to-last cookie, not caring if he saw the look of disgust and utter disbelief in her eyes.
A couple of minutes went by. The stranger moved his hand. He didn't dare! He did. The ill-mannered cookie thief grabbed the last cookie. Then, with a strange and surprising look of disgust himself, he broke the cookie in two and placed a half on the package before he got up and left in a huff.
What nerve! Over the next several minutes Sally played the uncanny scene again in her mind, wondering how a person could be so bold, when she finally heard the announcement for her flight. She opened her purse to get her ticket and froze in horror as she gazed upon an unopened package of cookies. The reality of her encounter sank in. Sally gained a new perspective as she picked up her stuff and crawled onto the plane.
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