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Jr. Tales: A Time to Renew

Rachel Stein

The rain wasn’t slowing down, and Doniel’s boredom was growing stronger with each bucket of water. What could he do to pass the time?

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Photo: Shutterstock.

S heets of rain tumbled from the sky as Doniel peered out through the living room window, waiting for it to let up. He began tapping one foot in time to the raindrops’ rhythm, then the other, and finally both together. But the rain wasn’t slowing down, and his boredom was growing stronger with each bucket of water that poured down. What could he do to pass the time on this endlessly dreary afternoon?

Hey! Simcha just got that new book in the Cave Mystery series; maybe he could borrow it. Jumping to his feet, Doniel scampered off to Simcha’s room. Noting the bookmark saving a page, Doniel saw clearly that Simcha hadn’t finished the novel. He thought about Simcha’s number-one book rule: no reading my books while I’m still in the middle. But maybe just this once he won’t mind, Doniel hoped, clutching the book. Right now he’s having the time of his life at his friend’s house, so as long as I take care of it, what’s the big deal?


Padding into the kitchen, Doniel fixed himself a mug of steamy, creamy hot chocolate. Then he curled up on the couch, let out a contented sigh, and began to read, sipping as he turned the pages.

Wow! he thought, caught up in the intrigue of two friends searching for a treasure in a deep dark cave, this is some story! And just when the book’s characters heard a moan and slipped on a slippery slope, a door slammed somewhere in the house and Doniel jumped. Wide-eyed, he watched the remains of his cocoa slosh over the rim of his mug and douse the pages of Simcha’s brand-new book. Who was now in worse shape, he wondered, the boys in the cave or him?

If I had money, Doniel thought, I could just buy a new book, put it back on his shelf, and Simcha would never know. But I don’t. A glimmer of an idea flashed through his mind, and Doniel grinned as the perfect solution became clear. With Hashem’s help, Simcha would never know about the great hot chocolate spill.

Later that afternoon, Simcha’s voice echoed down the hall, and Doniel cringed. “Hey! I left my new book right here on my desk. Did anyone see it?”

Doniel gulped and softly closed his door. Just a few hours, Simcha, and the situation will be all fixed up. You’ll see… Doniel heard Simcha talking to his mother about his disappearing book and promptly put on a CD to drown out the conversation.

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