I remember it being a lazy summer afternoon when my friend and I decided to break in to a nearby church and take what we could while no one was around.

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Well, "break in" isn't exactly accurate. They left their basement door open…

We must have been around 5 or 6 years old when my friend Eddie and I walked next door to a church that was doing some spring cleaning and stole some junk out of their basement.

I remember Eddie being proud about the old, beat-up dart board he found. I'm not sure if there were any darts to go with it though. A certain hamster cage caught my eye and seemed to twinkle in the sunlight that filtered in through the basement doors. We made off with our loot and headed home.

We had no idea that what we were doing was wrong. Reality struck once our parents found out what happened. I feel very fortunate to have a loving and caring father who understood that I was just being a kid, but Eddie's parents on the other hand weren't as sympathetic. Eddie had a knack for getting into trouble. So much so that one day he discovered matches and ended up setting his bedroom on fire… But that's another story.

My dad grounded me for two weeks. I was made to return the hamster cage and apologize. It's a little hazy but I remember the priest or pastor of the church accepted my apology and performed some motion with his hand- I guess he was absolving me of my actions. Maybe?

Eddie's parents wanted to curb his behavior and took more drastic measures. They brought him to the local police station and more or less threatened his existence. At least that's how I remember it.

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