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A hillbilly version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears
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Mama has always been persnickety about her things. It just goes along with her O.C.D. So when she told me one evening her things in her bedroom were out of place, I knew to be worried.

"Has anyone been in your house?" I asked.

"Not that I am aware of," she answered. "But something ain't right."

Mama fretted for two days, just like I knew she would. She felt like something had gone missing - she wasn't sure what - but she was going to find out.

Then she called me.

"We've been robbed!"

"What?" I exclaimed into the phone. "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am positive. The sheriff just left."

"What did they take?" I asked, growing sick at the thought someone broke into my family's home.

"Bobby had some buckets full of change for Cole in his closet; they are gone. It was probably about a 100 bucks worth," Mama said.

That was Cole's Nintendo, ice cream, glassblowing shop money my uncle always gave him.

Cole, who was listening, immediately screamed.

"I feel so violated." he squealed. "I don't know what that means, but I feel so violated right now."

"Anything else?" I inquired.

"Granny's T-bone was gone," Mama said.

"Her what?" I asked.

"My meat," Granny yelled in the background, followed by expletives.

"Some cussed little thief has done took my beef. I'll shoot 'em."

More expletives followed.

"Do they know who did it?" I asked Mama.

"No. They couldn't get prints and there was no sign of forced entry," she answered. "We have our thoughts. But you can't accuse anyone without proof."

I was upset, scared, worried and angry. My little family had been robbed.

People that if anyone had asked, they would have given them what they could to help.

Granny would have even given her precious hunk of meat if only they had asked first.

My theory was that whoever it was knew them and knew they were going to Atlanta every day for my uncle's radiation treatment. That thought made me even more furious.

Granny decided she would stay home occasionally, just in case the steak eater came back. Besides, she has a freezer full of corn that was ripe for the thieving.

Mama texted me a few weeks later.

"Granny said a rusted out van pulled up 30 minutes after we left."

Granny, being the vigilante insane woman that she is, went to the door and called the sheriff.

Mama wondered if whoever it was may have been looking at the house for sale behind them.

"Mama, if they are in some ghetto Mystery Machine van, they aren't looking at a $170,000 house."

Granny was now determined.

She stayed home another day, this time she was armed with her ball bat and Bessie, her 60 year old cast iron skillet that she normally uses to fry chicken. Apparently, it has other handy uses.

"I will call you later to make sure you are OK," I promised her. The day the van had showed up, I had thought about calling her but hadn't.

A few hours later, I tried to reach the old gal and couldn't get her. Granny lives for the phone more than she does "Wheel of Fortune."

Something was wrong.

I called the sheriff, near hysterics.

"She's 91, she's all alone and someone broke in their house a month ago and a suspicious van was there two days ago. I am scared they came back."

The dispatcher promised they would call me and let me know how she was. An hour went by and nothing.

I called the dispatch back who put me through to the deputy.

"She hasn't called you?" he asked.

"Well, she was ... fine. A little irritated we came out there, but she was fine."

I waited to see if the old gal would call but she didn't. So I called her.

"Did you call the po-po on me?" she growled as soon as she answered.

"I did. I was worried."

"I was on the phone and you know I don't like no call waiting. You had two deputies come out on me. You do that mess again, I'll stomp you."

"Granny, what if someone had come back out there and broke in on you?" I asked.

She grunted. "I'll tell you like I told those deputies. I can take care of them."

Insane, that woman is. But as mean as the day is long.

The robber, thankfully, hasn't been back. But if he does, Granny, the ball bat and her cast iron skillet are waiting.

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist and certified life coach. She lives in the north Georgia mountains with her family and four insane, but fairly well behaved dogs.