We ran away from home.
It was so unfair! I mean, all we did was take the sugar bowl and eat the sugar. And for that Judy and I were sent to our rooms for an entire afternoon.
“I know what we can do,” I said. ‘Let’s run away!”
“Yes!” Judy and I packed our dolls into brown paper bags, slipped out the back door and ran to our usual hiding place under the cherry trees.
“Where are we going, Sue? I’m scared.”
I looked up the street and saw Mr. Knox working in his garden. Mr. Knox was tall, thin and ancient. He had been in the “Great War” and had a German soldier’s helmet with a bullet hole in it in his hallway.
“There’s Mr. Knox. I bet he baked some of his sugar cookies today.”
“We’re not allowed to go without permission…”
Mr. Knox walked over to his porch and disappeared inside.
We crept out of our hiding place and ran to Mr. Knox’s front porch. He seemed surprised to see us. “Come in, ladies. I was just about to have some lemonade. Would you like some?” We nodded, suddenly struck dumb as we watched him pour lemonade into tall glasses.
“How is your mother?” he asked. I nearly fell off my chair.
“S-s-s-he’s fine, sir.”
“I’m surprised she didn’t call to tell me you were coming. Maybe I missed the phone while I was outside. You should get on home before she worries about you. Why don’t you take some of my sugar cookies with you?” He counted fifteen cookies into a brown paper bag.
“Um…thank you sir.”
As the door closed behind us, Judy hissed, “Mom will know when she sees the cookies! We’ll be sent to our rooms for a week!”
“We’ll eat them. She’ll never know.”
Understanding dawned. “Well, all right. Give me one.”
I opened the sack. The cookies gazed at me with their single raisin eyes. I stuffed one in my mouth. “Isn’t this great? All these just for us!”
Judy stopped eating after four cookies. “I think I’m going to be sick.”
“You have to eat your share! Don’t go!”
“I don’t care. It was your idea anyway,” she said as she ran down the street.
Twenty minutes later the incriminating evidence was in my belly. I walked up to the front door to find Mom waiting for me, tapping her foot. She didn’t look pleased.
“Where are the cookies?”
“Did Judy tell?”
“She didn’t need to.” She glanced upstairs, where Judy was tossing her cookies into the toilet.
“Mr. Knox called.He wondered if you were running away. You left your bags at his house. You get to your room, now!”
“I think I’m going to be sick!” I dashed upstairs and joined Judy in the bathroom.
I cried myself to sleep that night. In the morning, I woke to voices in the downstairs hall.
“It was a pleasure to see your girls, Mrs. Connelly. I thought they might need their bags they left at my house so I brought them over. By the way, I had quite a few cookies left from my last baking. Thought you might like them.”
I peaked over the rail and saw Mr. Knox hand my mother a grease-stained paper bag. He glanced up at me and winked.
That was fifty-five years ago, yet I can still remember that day and Mr. Knox’s cookies. I sure wish I had his recipe, and even more, I wish I could have spent more time with this elderly neighbor who treated two wayward girls with such kindness.
For a recipe very like the one Mr. Knox must have used, go here. The photo above is from this site.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.