One time on Richmond Street, when Daddy was off working on the house here in Hinsdale, I’d eaten everything on my plate. We cleared the dishes, and then Mommy pulled out these things called strawberry tarts. She was smiling, just so happy to be giving us this great treat. It wasn’t her cat smile either. She was really making nice. I thought my tart was mighty pretty, but I was so full I couldn’t eat it. I just watched everyone eat theirs. Then they all went into the living room to watch the Lone Ranger on TV, and I was in the kitchen alone staring at the tart. I wanted to watch the show too, so I slid quiet as a spider out of my chair, lifted my plate up and tip toed over to the garbage can, lifted its lid slowly so it wouldn’t squeak, placed my tart gently on top of the garbage, lowered the lid, washed my plate at the sink, dried it, put it on the table because I couldn’t reach the cabinet where it was kept, and raced into the living room.
“Did you eat your tart, Laura?” asked Mommy. “Yes, it’s all gone,” I said.
“That’s impossible. You couldn’t have eaten it that fast.” “Yes I did.”
“Well, we’ll just see about that,” Mommy said, getting up from the couch and walking into the kitchen.
I wasn’t worried. I never looked inside the garbage can unless I had to put something in there, so I didn’t think she would either. But that’s the first place she looked. She called me into the kitchen. One of her hands was holding up the lid, the other pointing inside.
“Look in there, Laura, what’s that?” “Uh, I don’t know.”
“Don’t you lie to me. It’s your tart, isn’t it?”
So I had to fess up. She pulled the tart out of the garbage, put it on the plate I’d just washed and dried, and I had to eat it. Then when I was done, I was in a heap of trouble.
Mommy led me into the bathroom where she had me lean over the sink. She lathered up a bar of soap. Then she held my neck in place with one hand and stuck the bar of soap into my mouth with the other. And she scrubbed my mouth out with me jumping up and down and trying to pull away the whole time. That tasted awful, and I decided while her hand was stuck in my mouth that I have to be extra careful about when and where I lie about something. Then she sent me to bed.
When Daddy got home, she told him what I did, and he belted me. The usual thing, my pants pulled down around my ankles leaning over the bed. Him sliding his belt out of the loops on his pants, and whap, whapping me first for throwing away good food. Even if I hadn’t lied about this, it would have been a terrible thing to do. It’s a sin to waste food. Then more whap, whaps for lying to Mommy about it.
So now, I always eat everything on my plate no matter how full I am. Once all the food is eaten, Kathy, Mary Ruth and I clear the table. When we have company Mommy’s the one who gets the ball rolling by announcing like a circus ringmaster, “And now it’s time for my automatic dish washers to go to work.” Everybody gets a good laugh from that, except Kathy, Mary Ruth and me.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish