The Cookie Jar – by MICHAEL MORRIS

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The Cookie Jar


Little Bill constantly snatched his grandmother’s homemade treats. Every day after school, he went to his grandparents’ house, and did his homework at the kitchen table while his grandmother fed him two cookies and a glass of milk. He was never allowed more than this, but too often he could not resist, and when his grandmother left the room to put up laundry or to start his grandfather’s dinner, he took the smiling head off the ceramic bear cookie jar and helped himself to more.


At first, he didn’t get caught, and so began to get bolder, and stole even more cookies. When his mother came to get him after work, he could not eat the dinner she brought or made for him. But she just assumed that this was just a little boy phase.


But more cookies taken from a cookie jar usually means a fairly empty container, and Bill’s grandfather one day asked, “What’s happened to my cookies?”


“Your grandson ate them.” She didn’t mind the boy getting more; for her, a boy who couldn’t stop eating her food meant a boy who would always love her.


As grandfathers sometimes do, Bill’s decided to teach him a lesson. So the next day, Bill was looking toward the door to make sure he was not seen. His left hand pulled the bear’s head up where the jar opened at the mouth, and his right hand slowly went inside. He heard a loud snap, and then the tips of his finger felt on fire. He let go of the head and the mouth seemed to close on his hand. A mouse trap fell from his fingers and Bill saw — for only a second — a little blood on the lips of the bear as he pulled his hand away and tried to stifle his scream.


From another room, the old man laughed, but Bill was certain that the sound came from the smiling bear.



Michael Neal Morris has published short stories, poems, and essays in a number of print and online venues. His most recent books are naked and Recital Notes, Volume I. Collections of his work are listed at Smashwords and Amazon. He lives with his family just outside the Dallas area, and teaches at Eastfield College.

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