The Cookie Criminal

Last year we saw many crimes, but one crime was especially unique. On a dark winter night a cookie disappeared, but not just a simple, delicious cookie, no this cookie weights around 20 kilograms, is completely covered in gold and it is a quite famous German emblem. The cookie I am describing is the golden Leibniz cookie emblem which has been hanging in the Bahlsen biscuit company’s headquarters in Hannover, Germany, since 1913.

Photo: Axel Hindemith, License: Creative Commons by-sa-3.0 de

So from one day to the next the cookie’s usual place was suddenly empty. Shortly after the cookie disappeared the company and the Hannover Newspaper got a letter from the cookie criminal. This letter aimed to blackmail the biscuit company, but neither the content of the letter nor the so-called criminal was typical. The letter started off with “I have the cookie, you want the cookie” and then the thief named the conditions. The company was supposed to distribute cookies to all the children in the Bult hospital and the letter emphasized that those cookies should be the ones with milk chocolate, not the ones with dark chocolate and not the ones without chocolate! Also the children at the cancer ward should get a golden cookie and the animal shelter in Langenhagen should be donated 1000 Euro. If all these conditions were met the golden cookie would be returned, but if not, the cookie would end up with the Grouch in the dustbin.

I believe that the conditions listed in the letter were already weird, but even more peculiar was the “identity” of the cookie thief; it was the world famous Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. I find what the Cookie Monster did admirable and noble and it reminds of something Robin Hood would do. However the company and the police did not think of the Cookie Monster as a hero, instead the police worked hard to find the real person behind the blue monster costume and they weren’t exactly happy about the terms mentioned in the letter either.

So the company Bahsen refused to comply and instead they offered the Cookie Monster a different deal. They promised to donate cookies to 52 social organizations and so the Cookie Monster decided to agree with these new terms and the golden cookie was found attached to a bronze horse statue in front of the Leibniz University. The company held their promise and donated cookies to 52 different social organizations the following month and the police closed the unresolved case of the stolen golden Leibniz cookie after a few months.

So I guess in the end the Cookie Monster didn’t get exactly what it wanted, but it still managed to do something good. Maybe it didn’t seem like such a great thing to the Bahslem Company, but it did make people smile, even just people like me who didn’t get a cookie, but got to hear the story. The Cookie Monster might have broken the law, but in my opinion this doesn’t necessarily make it a bad monster. In fact it makes it a hero because the Cookie Monster was selfless and risked its own freedom to bring joy to others and that’s what real heroes do, they help others even if their own reputation, freedom or even life is at risk.


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