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The Secret Child: Chapter 7

Yehuda Bromberg

“The horses!” Yonah screamed, pointing towards the wagon. The horses had inexplicably started going wild, bucking up and down with terror.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

I

an the dead of night, a wagon rolled through the dark woods. Owls hooted from deep within the trees, and an ominous breeze rattled the leaves like a snake’s rattle.

“It’s cold,” Eliezer complained, shivering as the air became icier as they traveled deeper into the forest.

“It shouldn’t be this cold yet at this time of year.” Yonah’s hand grabbed onto the hatchet tucked into his belt. “I don’t have a good feeling about this.”

“Neither do I, but what choice do we have?” Chacham Bentzion gripped the reins of the two horses that were steadily pulling the wagon forward. “Going by land is taking us much, much longer than by the sea route I took to get here! If there was a way we could just travel by boat, then that would be much simpler...”

“I already told you, that’s not an option!” Reb Pinchas pulled Eliezer closer. “No water!”

 Chacham Bentzion sighed.

“So be it.”

************************

“Fiddle my thumbs and play the drums, o’ it’s good to be a Jew! Tap your hat, dance with your cat, o’ if the world only knew!”

“Yonah... Please stop singing,” Reb Pinchas murmured.

“I actually like it.” Chacham Bentzion admitted with a small smile. “We need some simchah on this dark trip.”

“Me too.” Eliezer chuckled.

“Why, thank you!” Yonah beamed with pride and launched into another stanza.

“Call me a beggar, but you’ll find no one better, than big ol’ Yonah for the job! I’m smart and I’m wily, sometimes I am silly, when I use my head to split a log!”

“Have you?” Eliezer looked at Yonah curiously.

“Acted silly?” Yonah folded his big arms. “Never!”

“No! Have you ever split a lo–”

“WATCH OUT!”

CCCCRRRIIIIICK!

A huge tree suddenly snapped in half and fell with a terrifying boom onto the forest floor, directly in front of their wagon. The echoes of the immense crash seemed to reach from one end of the forest to the other.

“What is happening here?” Chacham Bentzion turned to stare at Reb Pinchas with wide, terrified eyes.

“C-can you go around?” Reb Pinchas asked. His hands were trembling so violently that they were making pattering noises as they bounced against the wooden wagon seat.

“Perhaps we should go by water...”

“No!” Reb Pinchas shook his head. “Please try to go around.”

So Chacham Bentzion did.

********************

Yonah was no longer singing goofy songs. They traveled in complete silence through the pitch-black forest. They emerged into open countryside as the sun was beginning to break across the horizon.

Chacham Bentzion pulled the wagon over to the side of the road, and they all davened with intense concentration.

“The horses!” Yonah screamed, pointing towards the wagon.

The horses had inexplicably started going wild, bucking up and down with terror. They strained mightily until they broke free from the carriage. 

“No, no, no!” Yonah leaped in front of them with his hands held out wide. “Back! BACK!”

 (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 752)

 

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