Meet the Cookie Thief by Helen Sullivan

Some people collect dolls, postcards, baseball caps, corks, stamps, coins, snow globes, vinyl albums (yes, they’re back!), or numerous other collectibles. I collect poems.

One poem I just discovered is particularly enchanting and includes a life lesson. It originally appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, the popular series edited by Jack Canfield. Meet “The Cookie Thief” here:

The Cookie Thief
by Valerie Stevens

A woman was waiting at an airport one nightshutterstock_372092143
With several long hours before her flight
She hunted for a book in the airport shop
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see
That the man beside her as bold as could be
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene
She munched cookies and watched the clock
As this gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by
Thinking “If I wasn’t so nice I’d blacken his eye”
With each cookie she took he took one too
And when only one was left she wondered what he’d do
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh
He took the last cookie and broke it in half
He offered her half as he ate the other
She snatched it from him and thought “Oh brother
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude”
She had never known when she had been so galled
And sighed with relief when her flight was called
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat
Then sought her book which was almost complete
As she reached in her baggage she gasped with surprise
There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes
“If mine are here” she moaned with despair
“Then the others were his and he tried to share”
“Too late to apologize she realized with grief”
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

Sometimes the way we perceive things is just plain wrong. Think about how clueless most people are about what parking professionals do and what the parking industry is all about.  I like that this poem is a humbling reminder to step back sometimes and look past our immediate assumptions to see other possibilities.

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