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.

Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals