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Ah, the innocence of youth.  I remember when I was just a carefree child.  I honestly can say I will never forget it.
 
I remember being around six years old and playing with my friend, Billy Marsh, who was eight—the coolest, oldest kid in our neighborhood.  It was December, and almost Christmas.  Billy was telling me about Santa Claus.
 
To put some context on this, there had been a rash of home invasions in the area, and my parents had been telling me to watch out for prowlers.
 
Billy, being the wiser of the kids around, knew how gullible we younger kids could be.  He told me that Santa was the ones breaking into houses and that he was trying to get take away kids to go be helpers at his workshop at the North Pole.
 
Now, that would have sounded like a pretty sweet gig to me, had it not been for the fact that Billy told me I would never get to see my mommy or daddy ever again.  All the toys in the world weren’t worth missing my mother’s kisses or the cool stuff my father would sometimes bring home from his late-night job as a worker at a chocolate factory.
 
It was the afternoon before Christmas when I thought of my plan to make sure Santa didn’t kidnap me.  Mom let me bake some cookies for Santa, and I added my own special ingredient.  Father set out these green pellets for the mice that came into our garage.  He told me the mice were being bad, and that the pellets would make them leave us alone.  My six year old brain took this notion and ran with it.
 
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face when he found me crying about how I told mommy those cookies were for Santa, but she ate them anyway.
 
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