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Win or Lose: Chapter 8

Chaim Finkelstein

Hmm, the last time something like this had happened, his mother had poured a cup of water on him! Yitzy’s eyes popped wide open

Wednesday, January 09, 2019


itzy Levinson was not happy. He was very tired, and his bed was so comfortable, yet someone kept trying to disturb his sleep. A familiar voice kept calling his name and trying to talk to him about water. Why would anyone be calling him in the middle of the night? Why would someone be talking to him about water while he was sleeping? The more he thought about it, the less sense it made.

Hmm, the last time something like this had happened, his mother had poured a cup of water on him! Yitzy’s eyes popped wide open.

He looked up and saw a negel vasser cup hovering over his head. The cup was being held by his mother, and it looked like she was just about to pour it over him.

Mrs. Levinson noticed his open eyes, smiled, and lowered the cup.

“Good morning, Yitzy,” she said cheerfully. “I’m so happy that you woke up before I poured the water today.”

Yitzy smiled weakly at his mother and began to whisper the words of Modeh Ani.

Mrs. Levinson’s eyes scanned the room. “Very good, Yitzy,” she said. “I see that you prepared your sneakers last night. They’re sitting so nicely and neatly at the end of your bed.”

Yitzy smiled proudly and pointed to the top of his dresser. “Yes,” he said, “and I prepared my glasses too.”

Mrs. Levinson glanced at the glasses and nodded her head.

“That’s great, Yitzy,” she said proudly. “Keep up the good work. Now get dressed quickly so you won’t be late to yeshivah.”

Mrs. Levinson turned and left the room.

Yitzy walked over to the hamster cage on his dresser. He looked at the sleeping ball of fur inside the cage.

“Hey, Shloimy,” he called to his pet hamster. “Did you see what just happened? Baruch Hashem, I woke up before my mother had to pour water on me, and I also know where my sneakers and glasses are.”

Yitzy wasn’t surprised when Shloimy didn’t answer.

“I know why you’re not answering,” Yitzy chuckled. “You’re just jealous of me. You’re stuck in that cage all day, while I get to get out of the house and go to schoo—"

Yitzy stopped in mid-sentence.

He was going to school. He was going to face a classroom full of friends who expected him to win a Mishnayos competition for them. He knew that those friends would probably hate him forever after he lost that competition, because there was no way in the world he could win.

Yitzy sighed and bent over Shloimy’s cage. “You are so lucky, Shloimy,” he whispered. Shloimy opened his eyes for a second, yawned, and went right back to sleep. Yitzy felt a pang of jealousy.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 743)


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