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Maradino had had enough. His mother had been baking sweet after delicate sweet from morning till noon, yet she had expressly prohibited him from trying even the tiniest crumb of her creations. She'd holler and holler as he cried, but only the words 'not for you' and terrible' and  'must promise me' reached his ears between his banshee- like wails.

Imagine it! The boot of the matriarch pressed so firmly upon his neck! And those sweets just laying about, untouched by his appreciative lips! But Maradino was no tyrant's thrall; no. He devised a plan to steal into the kitchen while the She- devil of the Kitchen went to outhouse to relieve herself. In less than an hour, she had dashed out, and Maradino had dashed in, stealthy as a guerrilla, determined to take what had been denied to him.

Maradino had already shoved the fourth little pastry into his mouth when the despot returned. She screamed out and rushed over to our young revolutionary, and without ado began a beating him about the back. Amid his pastry-addled cries, Maradino could only make out such meaningless phrases as 'rat poison' and 'dead by morning.'

'Let her have her little cookies,' decided Maradino, later that evening, after having been forced to swallow no small amount of charcoal by way of punishment. 'They tasted terrible anyway.'

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