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Ahuva Bear Has a Wordy Problem

Yael Mermelstein

Ahuva had a problem with a school assignment. But Nonny was in a wheelchair. How could she complain?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

bear

Photo: Nechama Leibler

My mother always says; “Everyone has a pekaleh,” which means everyone has their own package of problems they’re carrying around with them like a heavy sack of potatoes. She tells Nonny this all the time when he gets down about being stuck in TJ all day long. It makes him feel better. But how do you think it makes me feel? How am I ever supposed to complain about anything when Nonny can’t even stand up to take something off a shelf? No matter how heavy my package feels to me, I feel like it’s nearly empty compared to Nonny’s sack. 

So I try to keep things to myself. 

Which is where you’ll find me at the beginning of this story. Pretending. 

You see, Mrs. Lieber, our writing teacher gave us an assignment to write a letter to someone. Here’s how it went. 

“Class, settle down. I’d like to talk to you about your homework assignment.” 

Everyone quieted down. Well, almost. 

“Okay class. So for this next writing assignment we’re going to discover the lost art of letter writing.” 

Whatever that means. 

“I’d like each of you to choose someone to write a letter to. A real live letter that you put into an envelope and seal and send off to someone. I even want you to choose pretty stationery. You can decorate it with pretty stickers. It should be something you invest your heart and soul in. Imagine how happy the recipient of your letter is going to be!” 

Sure sounded fun to me. I like stationery and stickers and I can write funny things, that’s what all my friends say. Everyone turned to each other and started buzzing.

Photo: Nechama Leibler

“I’m going to write a letter to the pharmacy,” Shira Dob said. “My mother’s always complaining that there’s only one cashier there and that she should write a letter telling them to hire another so she won’t have to wait so long,” she said. “She never does though. I think I’ll take care of it for her.” 

That was an interesting idea but I couldn’t imagine decorating a pretty letter to someone at a pharmacy whom you didn’t even know. “I’m going to write to my pen pal in Belgium,” my friend Aliza Preener said. “I write to her once a month anyway.” 

“Well then, this is gonna be an easy project for you,” I told her. 

“It’s going to be really easy for you too,” she said to me. “You’re a good writer. I can spend hours writing letters to my pen pal.” 

“Wait up,” Morah Lieber said. “I need to tell you all of the parameters of the assignment.” 

Everyone quieted down. Almost.

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