"Idy,” Mrs. Sommers said sometime later, “I work on a farm.” 

“A f-farm?” 

Mrs. Sommers laughed, mistaking the trepidation in Idy’s response for surprise.

“Not as a farmhand, I assure you. I tutor the young son of my employer. I have my own cottage set back from the main house. My boss is a nice man, but since the accident that took his wife’s life, he hasn’t been the same. He gets moody and impatient.” She looked at Idy. “I’m telling you this because I don’t know how he will react to your being there.” Mrs. Sommers stopped speaking as if searching for the right words. 

“Idy, I want to help you and Lulu. I propose that you and Lulu stay with me for a short while… but it will have to remain our secret. No one on the farm must find out that you’re there. You’ll have to remain indoors at all times. Do you think you’re up to the challenge? I know it won’t be easy keeping such a little girl quiet.” 

Idy covered her mouth with her hand to hide her smile. “Oh, she’ll do just fine. Lulu is used to being quiet, and I’ll do chores and anything at all to earn our keep.” 

“That’s very thoughtful of you, but there isn’t much to do.” Her eyes clouded over. “I live alone, and I eat my meals in the main house with the hired help.” 

The cloud promptly lifted. “You and Lulu will stay until I can find a better solution for you.” 

“I don’t know how to thank you,” Idy said. “Truthfully, I don’t know why you’re offering your help.” 

Mrs. Sommers tapped Lulu playfully on her frozen little nose. “We’ll be helping each other. I could use a little company.” 

She stopped the wagon. “It would be best for you two to hide under the tarp again. The farm is just around the curve.” 

Idy and Lulu climbed into the back and slid beneath the canvas cloth. The wagon started up again, until they reached their destination. 

Mrs. Sommers pulled back the tarp. “There’s no one out here. Quick, Idy, pass Lulu to me and jump out.” 

Idy sat up and thrust Lulu into the women’s arms. The wagon was parked just a few feet from a small house. Idy leaped over the side of the wagon almost directly into Mrs. Sommer’s cottage. 

“I’ll return the wagon and be back in just a bit. Please keep clear of the windows.” 

“Lulu,” Idy said once Mrs. Sommers left, “we’ll just stand in this corner until Mrs. Sommers returns.” 

Lulu’s curly head moved up and down. 

“It’s nice in here, isn’t it? Smells nice too!” Idy had never seen such luxury… or had she? A sudden flash of memory tinkered with her mind. Where had she seen velvet curtains? But as her mind was wont to do, the blurred picture crumbled before it developed. 

She inspected each inviting corner of the cozy room. “I’ve never seen anything this beautiful before.” Her eyes stung and she fought back the tears. “I just wish Jacoby was here to see it.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 668)