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Jolly Solly: Fish-Dish Wish

R. Atkins

It was one thing to watch spiders, but he drew the line at having one invade his shirt. Faivish had had enough

Monday, April 09, 2018

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F ishel and Faivish Friedman were leaning listlessly against the wall outside their house in Sunny Lane, feeling really bored. Across the road, they could see the Morrises washing their windows. Further along, Raffi and Shimmy Rabinowitz were helping their father clean the car. Even Efraim Faigelbaum was toddling around with a feather duster, for goodness’ sake!

It seemed everyone but they had something to do for Pesach. At first, they’d been delighted when Mrs. Friedman had sent them outdoors to get them out of the way. But now they were having second thoughts. What was the point of all this leisure, if there was nobody to be leisurely with?

“You! Watcha standing there propping up the wall for?”

It was Mr. Krankowitz.

“We don’t have anything else to do,” shrugged Fishel.

“Our mother doesn’t need our help,” Faivish agreed with his brother for a change.

“Nothing to do? At this time of year? You can come and give an old man a hand!”

Although helping Mr. Krankowitz wasn’t exactly their preferred choice of activity, the brothers decided beggars couldn’t be choosers. Besides, their mother was always urging them to knock on the old man’s door to offer a hand.

They trooped after Mr. Krankowitz, who led them upstairs to his attic, a dusty space accessible only through a hole in the ceiling.

“I’ve got a box of Pesach dishes that need taking down. Here, use this ladder. My old legs just can’t do it anymore.”

The old man shuffled away.

Fishel lost no time in scampering up the ladder first, much to Faivish’s annoyance.

“I’ll pass the box to you,” he called down.


Before Faivish could protest, there was a loud shriek from the attic: “Eeeeeeeeeeeek!”

It was Fishel. There was a scuffling sound as he scrambled down the ladder as fast as his feet would carry him.

“What happened?” asked Faivish curiously.

“Spiders!” replied Fishel with a shudder. “One almost ran across my foot.”

“Pfft! Who’s scared of a little spider?” retorted Faivish. “Not me.”

With a swagger, he climbed up the ladder, and disappeared into the loft.

It was dark and spooky up there. Strange shapes and shadows surrounded him. Faivish looked around uneasily. He felt a tickle at the back of his neck. Eeeek! Was that a spider trying to crawl down his back? It was one thing to watch spiders, but he drew the line at having one invade his shirt. Faivish had had enough.

“Yowwwwwwwww!” he screeched, scurrying down the ladder at the speed of lightning.

Fishel and Faivish looked at each other nervously. What now? (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 704)

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