Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Madame Chamberlaine: Bugging Out!

Tzipie Wolner

In three hours we had seven jars filled with insects and one reptile. Looking at all the creepy-crawlies, I thought that this wasn’t exactly my idea of fun, but it wasn’t too bad either.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Photo: Nechama Leibler

We were B-O-R-E-D! It was Sunday, which means no day camp. 

My parents were off to a chasunah somewhere in “Too-far-away-for-kids-to-come-along-ville,” so we were stuck at home. Monsieur Two-Meh-Two was staying with us at night so my big brothers would have company. Yeah, we had crayons and chalk and markers, but when it’s shmoiling hot out there, who’s in the mood for coloring? 

Our neighbors came over, but we just sat and schmoozed on the porch steps, and the boredom didn’t really go away. 

“That’s it!” I decided when they left. “Shuly, we must do something. This is ridiculous!” 

“Okay, sis. Whatever you say, I’ll do.” 

I watched an ant crawl across my canvas sneaker. “Aren’t ants ever bored?” 

Shuy laughed. “If you’re asking that question you must be really, really bored.” 

I jumped up. “Hey! I know! Let’s make a zoo!” 

“A zoo? Where are you finding lions and tigers?” 

“No, Shuly, we’ll make a zoo with insects! We’ll collect them in jars and we can have all the kids in the neighborhood come visit.” 

Shuly looked at me in shock.

Photo: Nechama Leibler

“You?! You’ll collect all the insects? You can’t even look at bugs without washing your hands, remember?” 

“No, not me! You will collect them and I’ll tape up the jars really well.” 

“Well. What a lovely sister you are, letting me take care of all the creepy crawlies! FYI, I also don’t like anything with more than two feet.” 


Back to the land of boredom 

“Y’know, let’s wear gloves and then we can collect them together!” 

Shuly stared at me. “Are you serious?” 

“Do you have any better ideas? Come on!” 

I ran inside to get rubber gloves. I found a thick, sturdy pair. I wouldn’t even be able to feel the ants with these things on. 

With our hands safely snug in our gloves we were ready. We trudged to the playground with a pile of jars. 

“Hope Mommy won’t miss these jars,” Shuly said. 

“She better not!” 

“Okay,” Shuly asked. “What do we collect first?” 

“Ants are gross, but not too gross.” 

“And we collect them with…?” 

“I guess we don’t really have many choices,” I said. “Our hands, I guess.” 


“We’re wearing gloves, remember?” 

“I’ll sit myself here on the bench and watch you,” Shuly said.

Related Stories

Breakthrough: Chapter 42

Tovy Mann

The Israeli agents and the children’s mother are beginning the first stage of the rescue of Yehudit’...

Silver and Gold: Chapter 33

Zivia Reischer

Sheva confronts Adina, but finds that she can’t explain herself.

The Vending Machine

Libby Hartman

Music soon permeated the room. Shevi’s fingers danced upon the keyboard and burst into a lively tune

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time