"Are you eating a cookie for breakfast?" Mother asked as Dana sat back down at the table. She raised a disapproving brow at him.
Cookie in hand, a hint of guilt flashed across Dana's expression before he masked it with a very unconvincing smile of innocence. He tucked the cookie behind a napkin out of sight of mother... but not out of sight of the children. While Dana was distracted petting Gypsy with one hand under the table, Ellie waltzed in with a question on her lips. Her thoughts immediately shifted gears when she spied the goody.
"Can I have a cookie!"
"No, dear." Mother shooed her away and gave Dana a meaningful look.
Dana looked suitably chastened, took a bite, and lowered his cooking to the bench between he and I where it was well out of sight of any random children that might pass by.
Several children did indeed make their way in and out of the dining room, and when there was a break, Dana reached for his cookie.
"Hey!" He pat the bench searchingly on both sides. "Where's my cookie?"
I raised my hands to show them empty when he gave me a pointed look. To be fair, I had pulled stunts like that in the past, so his unspoken accusation wasn't completely unfounded.
However, in the brief quiet that followed, a distinct crunching sound came from under the table. My first thought was that one of the children had snuck back in, but none of them were masters of stealth and I would have seen them.
"Um," I realized out loud. "I think the dog ate your cookie."
And so she had. Dana sighed and propped his chin on his hand in defeat.