Mommy makes me and Judy stay with the shopping cart when we’re at the A&P. We can’t go down the candy aisle by ourselves. This means I have to hurry up and scour the shelves for loose m&ms and Good & Plentys when she’s not looking.
Once when I was searching on my hands and knees, I saw a mouse. He stared right at me. I don’t eat anything that’s wet or has dirt on it. Only clean, dry candy. And not if it’s wrapped in paper, like Tootsie Rolls. They’re too big to just take. And also, they make my jaw hurt from all that chewing.
Judy always gets nervous about the candy. She thinks it’s stealing.
“It’s free if it’s not in the package anymore,” I tell her.
“You’re gonna get in trouble,” she says.
I feel a little guilty, I guess, but I still keep doing it. I love candy.
On Friday when we were at the A&P, there was no loose candy anywhere. I even checked the section where they keep the cake mixes. Sometimes, there’ll be little chocolate chips lying around. But this time, nothing. They must have cleaned the whole store.
When Mommy stopped to talk with Jennifer Troccoli’s mother over by the eggs, I snuck back to the candy aisle. I slid a big bag of m&ms to the back of the shelf and tore it open with both hands. I shook a few out so it looked like what’s usually there and filled both pockets of my coat. Some for me, and some for Judy.
As soon as we got home, I told my sister I had a surprise. When I showed her, she got mad.
“I don’t want that candy,” she said. “You stole it.”
“I found it.”
All weekend long, I’ve been afraid she’s gonna tell, but she hasn’t. Not yet, anyway. If she does, I’m gonna say she’s lying. Besides, I don’t have the candy anymore. I ate it all.