Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Madame Chamberlaine: In the Air!

Tzipie Wolner

To the astonishment of every single person sitting in traffic (including us!), the car lifted clean off the street! Up like a helicopter we went and — whoosh! — flew right over all the other cars

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

 Mishpacha image

Photo: Shutterstock

I looked at my watch. Shuli looked at her watch. When Madame Chamberlaine looked at her watch, I got really, really nervous.

“What will be, Madame Chamberlaine?”

Madame pulled the ivory curtains back and looked out the large window.

“They should be here already.”

The Shabbos table was set. The soup and cholent were on the blech. We were all dressed in our Shabbos clothes and yet, we were all worried.

You see, my parents went to visit an old couple who lived about an hour away. They left in the morning. They were sure they’d be home by noon. But it was 40 minutes to Shabbos and still they weren’t back.

“Let’s call them again,” I said.

“Vraiment!” Madame said. “You know they are stuck in traffic.”

I called anyway.

My mother sounded terribly worried. “Nothing is moving. In a few minutes, we’ll have to park the car on the shoulder of the road and start walking home.”

I told Madame what my mother said.

She shook her head.

“Did your mère tell you exactly where she was?”

“My mare? I don’t have a horse!”

Madame laughed.

“Non, chérie, mère means mother in French.”

“Oh! And father is fère?”

“Oh, no! Father is père. Brother is frère!”

“Then sister must be sère!”

“Wrong again,” Madame laughed. “Sister is soeur.”

“Sir?” (That is almost how sister is pronounced.) I laughed. “I like that. Yes, sister, sir!”

Madame looked at her watch again.

“We have no choice. We have to pick them up,” she said.

“Madame, don’t you understand? There was a huge accident! No car can pass either way.”

She clucked her tongue.

“Well, regular cars cannot pass, but the automobile of my friend, Corrine, can pass.”

“Madame, that’s not possible!”

“You can come and see for yourself. Let me see if Corrine is available.”

Madame dialed and babbled in French.

“Fantastique! Get your coats on and we’re getting your mère and your père!”

A minute later, there was an earth-splitting sound of a million birds tweeting at once.

Madame grabbed our hands.

“On y va!”

Related Stories

A Puzzling Matter

Bracha Rosman

From logic puzzles to jigsaw puzzles to word puzzles, the list is long, challenging, and fun filled

Road Race

Rochel Burstyn

Are you fascinated by cars? Even if you think you’re not quite a car person and can’t tell the diffe...

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Bassy Goldhirsch

I don’t know why my parents bothered to name me Chavie. It’s as if I was born wearing a name tag rea...

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