Tag Archives: thief

1883. Garden tools

Let’s face it: Stella wasn’t a greedy person. She was a spinster, lived alone, and was retired. She had worked as a nurse all her life. She had looked forward to her retirement. “At last! After all these years I shall be able to potter all day in the garden!”

She owned her own home, and it had a fairly extensive garden. It was one of those gardens that looked bigger than it was. One could get lost in it. Go through a gap in the shrubbery and a new vista, a new “room”, was revealed. Stella had a “theme” for each area; vegetables, flowers for cut flowers, herbs, and so on. The problem was that Stella could live satisfactorily in retirement but there wasn’t much left over for much else. That was when her lawn mower broke down, her garden rake disintegrated, her hedge clippers fell apart. It seemed that at least half the garden tools had gone on strike.

It would be simple enough to replace a garden trowel or something, but to replace half the tools at once was a burdensome impossibility. Stella conceived a plan! She advertised through the local Garden Society that the following weekend she would have an “Open Garden”. It’s true! Stella’s garden was a picture. At her gate she would have a sign and an honesty tin with a slot cut in the lid: GARDEN SHOW: ENTRY BY GOLD COIN.

When it came to gardening Stella wasn’t simply a weed-puller; she was an artist. She arranged the watering can, and the wheel barrow, and the spade, and all the garden tools (even the broken ones), in a nonchalant way around the garden, as if to say the gardener was busy but had just taken a break for a cup of tea. It was artistic; it was… well… very Stella. The arrangement in the delphinium bed was perfect: all that the placing of the watering can and spade needed was a robin to perch on the spade handle to create a postcard scene!

The Saturday was sunny. Quite a crowd came on this first day. Stella didn’t want to appear to be nosy, but at the start she could hear the gold coins go clang as they were put in the tin at the gate. She knew the tin was collecting even more coins when it ceased to clang as if it was empty. What a successful day!

When she went to collect the honesty tin in the late afternoon it had been stolen. As had all her garden tools. Even her spade that awaited the perching robin had disappeared.

601. Burgled

© Bruce Goodman 3 June 2015


When Gwyneth and Gus and their young son, Nicholas, arrived home one evening, they discovered their house had been burgled.

The thief must’ve had kids because hardly a thing was touched except for some of Nicholas’ stuff. His toys were in a mess, for example. They were scattered all over the floor. It was impossible to tell what had been pinched. That was in the living room.

The kitchen/dining room was an equal mess. There was spilt sugar and spilt milk. Almost as if the thief had sat down and had a meal.

“It’s not so much what’s been taken,” said Gwyneth, “it’s the fact that some stranger has been in the house and rummaged through our things.”

The bedrooms were also a mess. The bed in the master bedroom was roughed up, but they couldn’t see anything that was stolen. And then in Nicholas’ room there was…


“There’s the thief! There she is asleep in my bed!” cried Nicholas the Baby Bear. “It’s Goldilocks!”

535. Angus: thief


Angus knew he had been caught red-handed. He was still holding the ten-dollar note and his mother’s purse when she walked into the room.

“What are you doing with my purse?” asked his mother.

I’m just returning the ten-dollar note I borrowed off you last week,” said Angus. He was a quick thinker, was our Angus.

“Just keep it,” said his mother.

So he did.

His quick-witted luck didn’t last for long however; only for a couple of years. Now that he’s older, and better at it, he finds being a professional thief bloody hard work.

518. Clever camera


Leopold was skilled at fiddling with things and making them work again. He could fix clocks. He even fixed a mechanical metronome.

It was no surprise when he invented a thief-proof digital camera. How it worked was relatively simple: before a photo could be taken, a secret switch was pushed to turn off the implanted bomb, otherwise the camera would explode and the thief’s head would splatter to smithereens. It was clever. A thief would/could try it only once!

Leopold couldn’t test his device of course. He had to wait for a thief. That’s why he left his camera lying about. If a thief broke into the house, the camera would be the first thing they’d see and steal.

No doubt, dear reader, you can guess the ending! A thief did break into Leopold’s house. They took well-nigh everything. Except the camera.

Leopold would report this to the police. He would first record the evidence. He was devastated. He forgot the switch.