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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Theft Of A Gift

When I went to Mali, West Africa to serve my country as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I had nowhere to store the few valuables that I had acquired during my initial years of employment at minimum wage. (My mother refused to keep even one box for me, and from experience I knew that other family members would simply steal whatever I entrusted to them.)

My apartment manager gave me permission to have a little sale on the front lawn. I spread out a blanket and sold my cheap electronics, my small collection of records and books including classical music, Buddy Holly records, a beautiful, white leather-bound King James Holy Bible & Concordance set which I had already read cover-to-cover, my treasured unabridged dictionary which was also well-read, and whatever sticks of furniture I had. I sold my pretty little jewelry box and the few pieces jewelry that I had acquired because I thought that their gleam and sparkle would cause envy in Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, and might incite theft. The girls who bought them were delighted. (I still long for my expensive gold ankh ring, which is representative of eternal life in Ancient Egypt, and was a conversation starter.)

I planned a nice surprise gift for my apartment manager when I moved out. I knew that she enjoyed cooking and so I left all of my spices, about twenty little glass jars and tins of expensive spices, for her in my spice drawer. When the apartment manager did her move-out inspection of my one-room, efficiency apartment she opened my spice drawer, inhaled sharply, then quickly shut the drawer before I could say a word. She hoped that I had not noticed that the spices were still in there, she chatted distractions as she steered me toward the door. She stole my gift of spices before I could give it to her! I left without comment because I was acutely embarrassed for her, but I still wanted her to have them. I was a soft, kind-hearted girl. And I knew that the punishment was built into the crime. Whenever she used the spices she would remember that she stole them.

Theft Of A Gift

GIF & JPG by Annmarie Throckmorton



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