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Jr. Tales: Summer and Fall

Rivkah Small

If she hadn’t been looking at the flower banner but had gone directly to the manager, would Layli be okay now?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

shiur

Rina was about to set off to the dollar store with her two-year-old brother Shimshy. 

“Are you sure you can handle him in the store?” her mother asked. “You know how he can be.” Rina knew very well how he could be — like an octopus with eight hands to spill with, topple things with, and put inedibles in his mouth with while you had only two hands to try to keep up. 

“I think so. I mean, it’s not a crystal store. I’m going to the craft-supply aisle, so if he dumps things off the shelf, I’ll just put them back on.” 

“Great! Thanks so much for helping out with him, Rina,” her mother said, but she looked worried. 

Shimshy was cute in the store right up till he started pulling everything off the shelf, while Rina was looking for craft materials to decorate the bunk room for her campers. Time to go! She quickly selected some items and turned to get Shimshy. Suddenly, Rina heard the quiet glub-glub of a refill-sized bottle of liquid bubbles being poured on the floor. 

“Oh, Shimshy!” What a mess! Rina held him with one hand while screwing the cap back on the bubbles. “Okay, we’d better go pay — including for the bubbles — and ask the man in the front to come clean up this mess.” But just then an attractive flower banner caught her eye. That would that be perfect in the bunk room. She bent down to add it to her haul. 

That’s when it happened.

A young girl came running down the aisle, her foot hit the bubble puddle, and she went flying. When she fell she was shrieking and her leg was bent at an odd angle. 

A woman appeared immediately. “Layli!? What happened?!” Rina recognized the girl; she was one of the Kleinfelds from her block. Someone called Hatzolah, and the manager yelled to the front, “Mop in aisle four, please!” 

After supper, Rina looked up the Kleinfeld number and dialed. Her stomach was doing flip-flops as the phone rang once, twice, and a woman answered. Rina said, “Hello. This is Rina Levine. I was in the store this afternoon when Layli fell. How—how is she doing?” 

Mrs. Kleinfeld sighed. “It’s nice of you to call and ask. She broke her ankle and she’s in a cast. It’s not serious, but she’ll be laid up for a while. I feel so bad that she’ll miss her whole summer fun. But what can you do?” 

Rina wished her a refuah shleimah, and hung up. As she tossed and turned guiltily in bed that night, she wondered: Was it that extra moment she delayed after Shimshy spilled the bubbles that made Layli fall? If she hadn’t been looking at the flower banner but had gone directly to the manager, would Layli be okay now? (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 668)

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