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Jolly Solly: Who’s Calling?

R. Atkins

Their parents had gone out of town to a chasunah, taking Leah and Chavi with them. Unfortunately, the younger children had not been invited.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Moishy and Miriam were spending the evening at Bubby and Zeidy’s house. Their parents had gone out of town to a chasunah, taking Leah and Chavi with them. Unfortunately, the younger children had not been invited. Moishy and Miriam were none too happy about that. 

“It’s not fair! Why do people invite some kids and not others? It should be all or none,” grumbled Moishy.

 “Mm-hmm,” agreed Miriam. 

“Leah and Chavi get to go to exciting places, and we’re just left behind.”

 “Mm-hmm,” agreed Miriam. 

Bubby and Zeidy tried to cheer up the unhappy pair. “What about playing a game?” offered Bubby. 

“No, thank you,” mumbled Moishy. Miriam just sighed. 

Bubby and Zeidy shrugged. They decided to prepare some refreshments instead, to distract the glum pair from their troubles. Bubby put on the kettle. It was copper, and gleamed in the light. 

“What’s that?” Moishy couldn’t help asking. 

“An old-fashioned kettle,” replied Zeidy. “It’s been in the family for ages, but it still works like new.” 

“But kettles don’t look like dat,” pointed out Miriam. “At home we got a white kettle.” 

“And ours plugs into an electric socket. It doesn’t go on the stovetop,” added Moishy. “What a strange kettle!” 

Zeidy just smiled to himself as he and Bubby bustled about. 

Soon there was a loud whistling sound. It came from the copper kettle! Bubby and Zeidy explained that this meant the water had boiled. Moishy and Miriam were fascinated. Why, this sure beat a plain white kettle that didn’t make so much as a peep. 

After drinking some hot chocolate — which Moishy and Miriam were convinced tasted better made with hot water from the whistling kettle — they felt a lot chirpier. 

Suddenly, the telephone rang. Moishy looked around for the cordless. Instead, Zeidy went to a strange contraption on a side table. It was green, with a round dial. A receiver sat snugly on top, attached to it by a curly wire. 

Moishy watched with interest as Zeidy picked up and spoke into the receiver. 

“What a strange telephone,” he commented as soon as Zeidy finished. 

“Well, it’s a pretty old model,” smiled Zeidy. “But I like it a lot better than these newfangled phones that keep getting lost.” 

“I remember when we used to pick up the receiver to be connected to the operator. We would tell them what number we wanted to call, and they would dial it for you. You couldn’t just dial it yourself. And you could never be sure they weren’t eavesdropping,” remembered Bubby. 

Zeidy had an idea. 

“How would you like to make your own telephone?” he suggested to Moishy and Miriam. “I can help you, if you like!” 

Moishy and Miriam’s eyes opened as wide as saucers.

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