“We were robbed,” said our nephew. “Or, I guess, we were burgled. We don’t actually have anything to steal, but our neighborhood has nice houses in it, so they probably thought we would have some stuff. They took our TV, but we found it a couple of yards over.

“The funniest thing was that they dumped our our change jar, but they only took the quarters, dimes, and nickels. They left the pennies behind.”

Storyburglar 1

I don’t know how big the pile of coins was. I like imagining that it was big. I like imagining the burglar (which seems to me to be an old-fashioned word) slipping from action-mode into the semi-meditative state of separating silver coins from copper. I like thinking it took several minutes. That he forgot for those minutes where he was, that he was in a stranger’s house, taking things. Silver, silver, coppercoppercopper, silver. What about the Canadian coins? Take them or leave them?

“What are you doing?” says the accomplice, you can add in expletives of your choice. “Let’s go!”

“Hold on,” says our burglar. “I’m almost done. I’ll be right there.” Pockets sagging and clinking, he climbs out the window and jumps the short distance to the ground.