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bella's grandma, marty's mom, is a master pie maker. given her years of making them, i reckon a momma-nat homemade pie is about as good as you'd taste anywhere. a few fridays back bella and her grandmother made an apple pie together. on the following saturday afternoon bella walked onto the porch carrying a plate with a slice of pie and some ice cream. having seen her already partake in several snacks already, i threw her a sideways glance. she inquired about my look. i told her i thought she probably already hit her sweet quota for the day and should consider a healthier option. her glare suggested i had just insulted the gods or suggested she dash kittens against rocks if my implication asked her to let this freshly hewn piece of freshly scrach-made cake go un-enjoyed.

in seeing her glower not alter my countenance she said (palms would have surely been in the air if they weren't holding such a privileged plate) that fine she wouldn't eat it. she would just leave it here for some random animal or creature to eat and she hoped i was happy with the outcome of my irksome meddling. with this she theatrically set the plate on a small porch table stepped back, marched into the house, slammed the door and threw not one but both of the bolts to demonstrate the true level of offense. i heard her march the steps to her room, also slamming that door but surely disappointed there were no locking mechanisms to manipulate dramatically there as well.

not three minutes after this exchange a neighbor, the father of a playmate, strolled down the walk and onto our porch. he came to collect his son for dinner but stopped mid-sentence when he saw the apple pie with three generous balls of softening ice cream flanking it.

ooohhh, what is this we have here?

some homemade apple pie.

homemade. oh my. it looks scrumptious.

it is most scrumptious. and, you can have it.

what? really?

yes. bella made it but realized she already had her desert a few hours earlier and left it for someone else.

wow. are you sure she won't mind?

she might but it's just going to go to waste if someone doesn't have it.

well, i'm down to collect sebastian for dinner but i'm sure a quick bite of some apple pie, given its home-made and might get thrown out won't hurt.

he lifted the plate, eased back in a deck chair and took on the look of a neighbor from andy griffith's mayberry. he swooned after the first bite, as all new-comers do. we chatted between bites, him occasionally commenting on how excellent the pie tasted. midway through his snack i heard the door unlock and bella stepped onto the porch. she looked for her plate on the table. her eyes lifted to the neighbor and her countenance hardened. wordlessly she turned and reentered the house ... double re-locking the door. the neighbor, a strapping man taller than six feet in stature, looked at me mildly concerned at the offense he just made. i assured him all was well and we had more pie in the house, which we did. only the next time i passed through the kitchen, i found atop the pie container an aggressively scrawled word of warning. the note stated that the contents of this container belonged to bella and the penalty of filching its contents would cost you five dollars ... per slice.

the warning failed to mention the additional burden of a year's worth of blood-hungry looks from bella.




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