Kaylee had to write a creative nonfiction piece for class. She said I could share it:

Crook At Heart

By: Kaylee Savage-Wright

As children one of the first thing we’re taught is not to steal, to keep our hands to ourselves and don’t take the other kids’ toys. But, despite these lessons adults try to drill in the head of a young child, kids seem apt to theft. Many of them, anyways, for there’s always the good one, the one who tells everyone else to follow the rules and behave and put that down or you’ll get tattled on. Yeah, there are always those kids.

Back at Ridgewood Elementary School I attended an after school program called Kid’s Club, where kindergarten-through-third graders could all coagulate in a room and spend hours painting, reading, screeching, and whatever other things energetic children like to do. I myself spent much of my time there tracing pictures from the flimsy, plastic stencils onto numerous sheets of paper, trying to teach myself how to draw in my aspirations to someday be as incredible at art as my father and older sister. Along with my ambition to be an artist, my younger self dreamed of becoming a famous cat burglar. I’d loved the idea ever since I could remember, and enjoyed hearing or reading stories about thieves and their adventures. Perhaps my goal also came from my family history: on my dad’s side we come from a Scottish clan, the Macfarlanes, who would go out on night raids by the light of the full moon (which was known as the “Macfarlane’s Lantern”) to steal cows in the east and south from their wealthier neighbors. So maybe it was in the blood, me aiming to turn out to be a legendary thief.

I decided to take action one day at Kid’s Club. The program directors sometimes brought in movies for us to watch, and on this particular afternoon they had with them a Pokémon movie. Everyone was excited— it was Pokémon, how could we not be? But then after my initial enthusiasm, I realized I wanted this movie. I didn’t just want to watch it with the other kids; I yearned for it to by mine. So I devised my plan.

When the adults weren’t looking, I snuck up to the desk, slipped the case into my hand, and crept over to my backpack where I shoved the movie inside. Ha. Easy. Heart thrumming against my ribcage in anxiety, I joined the others, attempting to calm myself and act as though my pilfering had not taken place. No one had noticed. All was well.

Except they did notice.

I should have known once the directors went to start the movie they’d find it missing. Of course they would. Immediately a search took place—children crawling under tables, rummaging through shelves, groping around in backpacks. Each kid was to give his or her bag to an adult for inspection, so we lined up and watched each examination taking place. I was panicked, frightened. Why had my theft gone in such an unanticipated direction? What was I going to do? Well, I ended up denying the truth when the movie was discovered in my backpack, saying I didn’t know how it had gotten in there. To my disappointment, they didn’t believe me.

My mother was informed of my crime when she came to pick me up from Kid’s Club. Appalled, she asked me if this was true. “No!” I lied, knowing she, at least, would accept the deceiving words as true. She had the tendency to believe in her children, which was why I tried to tell the truth as much as possible. But this was an emergency. No time for morals.

Days later, though, guilt seeped past the selfish desire to save myself from trouble and I confessed, through a note addressed to my mother that explained how I was so sorry and that I had in fact stolen that wonderful Pokémon movie. I always did have a hard time lying.

Maybe I wouldn’t make such a good thief after all.