My Rendezvous with a burglar

By Devi

Recently when a number of colleagues' houses were burgled, I was reminded of the time we had a burglary in our own house. We were then living in Sea Sands Quarters with neighbours hardly a stone's throw away. It was around mid-night when I heard stealthy sounds issuing from the kitchen. "Must be a rat scampering around the kitchen utensils," I said to myself. But as I lay listening, the next thing I heard was the clear sound of a bolt being drawn. I whispered to my husband who was half asleep - "The thief is at the door, what shall we do?". He turned over and said, "It does not matter, go to sleep". From my bed, through the open door I had a clear view of the door leading to the backyard. Even as I watched, horror of horrors, I could see the door opening and a tall dark man stepping in. I once again murmured, "The door is open, the thief is in". My husband said, "Let him come". I sat up, reached for the last switch and found myself staring at the thief and said the first thing that come to my mind, " Why didn't you knock? ". The burglar, I think was more surprised  than I and disappeared in flurry of steps. By the time my husband had woken up only to demand who on the earth was talking to? I said " The burglar"- " Oh! carry on!", he said and went off to slumberland again.

Next morning, no one would believe my tale of the nights' bizarre happenings till they saw that the bolts were cut and the large muddy foot prints in the dining room and outside. Even to me, the whole thing seemed  so unreal as though I had been watching a movie. My husband said if I had sounded frightened he would have paid attention. Why was I so calm, so matter-of-fact? Neighbours and friends advised me that the next time a burglar visited our house, I should give full exercise to my lungs. I nodded sagely.

The opportunity came fast enough. This time, I was alone with my two young children for company. That night we all heard weird noises from the other bedroom. We screamed the house down. I gathered my children rushed down. In no time at all, a knot of  neighbours gathered and even the ( usually absent ) watchman arrived. I assured them, that the burglar was still inside the house. No one had come out. Armed with sticks, the intrepid among the neighbours rushed in. There were fearful sounds from inside the house, and the entire lot spilled out of the house, battle-scarred. The last to stride out majestically was a big Tomcat, with his back arched and spitted angrily.

Now I have decided, that if a burglar does visit our house, I will neither shout nor scream but pretend to be fast asleep.

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