Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The Monster in the Closet
My six-year-old sister is of the opinion that our kitchen pantry is inhabited by an eight-foot-tall monster covered in red fur who emerges at night to steal our chocolate.
This creature has been aptly christened, "The Chocolate Monster."
Sometimes in the morning Pie will come downstairs, soberly inspect the candy dish on our kitchen island, and declare, "More chocolate is missing."
Yesterday afternoon she proposed an expedition into our pantry, the goals of which would be to find the Chocolate Monster's house, confront him about his thievery, and requisition our stolen property.
"So, BB, here's the plan," she told me with hunched shoulders during a strategy session over our dinner of chicken and rice. "You hold Thomas up on your shoulders, and then I'll get up on his, and then we can break in."
"Pie, that wouldn't work," I protested. "There's no door there. It only opens by magic, and he's the only one who can do it."
"I think you're wrong," she declared, rising from her seat to inspect our cereal and canned foods.
"Now, we'll just have to clear off these shelves..." I heard her muttering to herself.
"Pie, there's no door there," I repeated.
"Yes, there is!" she insisted. "I see it!"
"Well, come on, sit down and eat," I said.
She went on for a bit about how we could lure the Chocolate Monster our of hiding, and I told her that it wouldn't work.
"I've only seen him one time," I said. "It was late at night. I'd gone upstairs to check on you, and I heard a noise in the kitchen so I came down here to look. He was standing right in front of the table with a big bag full of chocolate, and as soon as he saw me he got a really scared look on his face and he opened the pantry door and jumped in. I ran right after him, and I saw a door in the ceiling close and disappear."
"Well, we should wait up for him late at night," she suggested.
"He knows if we're awake," I said. "He's kind of like Santa that way. Hey, maybe we could leave him some chocolates for Christmas."
Her eyes lit up.
"Do you think he'd leave us a present back?"
I felt a wonderful idea begin to form in my head.
"I don't know," I said. "Let's leave him a note and find out."
After cautioning her that the Chocolate Monster was so shy he might not even write back, we sat down to pen out a message to the mythical beast who has allegedly been robbing our house on a consistent basis for the better part of a year now.
In the letter, we asked the Chocolate Monster if he'd like to exchange gifts this Christmas. Pie added about four or five post-scripts, including "Can we come to your house?" and "How are you getting in here?"
I finished and laid the note down on the kitchen table.
"Hey?" she asked me, giggling with mischievous irony. "Do you think he'd leave us chocolate?"
"No, Crazy One," I said, laughing. "I don't think he will."
"Yeah, I know," she sighed with mirth. She was all but slapping her knee at her own joke.
This morning, a response from the Chocolate Monster, covered in peanut butter and a half-eaten chocolate chip cookie, appeared on our kitchen table.
I would like to exchange gifts with you this Christmas. That would be fun. You can't come to my house, though. I am very shy of people, and when I see them I scream like a little girl. That's why I only come at night. I get in through a magic door that only opens for me. And no, I won't stop eating your chocolate. Sorry. It's just so yummy. Thanks for the cookie. Can't wait until Christmas.
The Chocolate Monster."