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.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you