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Bentzi and the Mystery in the Museum: Chapter 20

Shifra Glick

“Let’s stand farther away this time,” suggested Yom Tov, “and pretend to be busy with something else, and then maybe — Hey! What’s that?”

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

M

a

“What happened? What happened?” Everyone surrounded Batya with concern. Everyone being Mommy, Tova, Moishy and me. Shmuel was nowhere to be seen.

“My special eraser with the colored layers, which disappeared yesterday!” Batya choked out. “Shmuel said he didn’t have it, but now I really searched for it, and look what I found under his bed!” She showed us the palm of her hand. Pieces of colorful translucent plastic were lying on it, torn and sorry looking. “He tore it!” she wailed. “He took the layers apart and ruined it completely. And it was one of the most beautiful erasers in my collection.”

“Oh, that’s such a pity,” Mommy commiserated.

“Will Shmuel get punished?” Moishy inquired.

I wanted to remind Batya again that this was just an eraser, nothing like the precious dreidel that Reb Nissan had lost. But something told me that maybe this was not the best moment, so I kept quiet. [Lucky for you! —Batya].

Suddenly there was a suspicious-sounding rustle from the coat closet by the front door. Batya rushed over and opened it, and we all saw Shmuel hiding in there, huddled up behind the coats.

“I didn’t want to ruin it,” he whimpered from inside the closet.

“Then why?” demanded Batya. “Why did you take it apart?”

“Because I wanted to so, so much! All the time I wanted to take it apart.”

“Is that why you asked for this particular eraser?”

“Yes.” Shmuel crept out of the closet and ran to Mommy.

“Well, I guess I can understand that you wanted to take the layers apart,” Batya said slowly. “It really is tempting.”

“Good for you, Batya!” said Mommy admiringly. Then she added severely, “Shmuel, I understand that you were tempted, but you must not take someone else’s things without permission. Don’t do anything like that again! And now tell Batya you’re sorry.”

“Sorry,” muttered Shmuel.

“So Shmuel won’t get a punishment?” asked Moishy. He sounded a bit disappointed.

 

*****

The next day the four of us arrived at the museum ahead of time, to discuss our plan of action.

“Let’s stand farther away this time,” suggested Yom Tov, “and pretend to be busy with something else, and then maybe — Hey! What’s that?” He froze, his eyes opening wide in amazement.

“What’s what?” asked Tulli. “Yom Tov, what happened to you?”

I followed Yom Tov’s astonished gaze — and I was astonished too.

The purple dreidel was there! Right in its place, standing serenely in the base, and shining with its special purple glow, as if it had never vanished.

“I don’t believe it!” cried Tulli.

“It’s a miracle! But how did it happen?” asked Yoel. “Who took it? Who put it back?”

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 752)

 

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