"H ot, hot, hot! How can it be sooooo hot?!”

That was Yochai. We were sitting in our favorite hideout, in the branches of the old olive tree in the playground near our house. The leaves gave us some shade, but it was still just too hot!

“It’s just too hot to do anything!” I complained. “I don’t have the energy to learn, play, or even eat!”

“Yeah, I know,” Natanel agreed. “The only thing I want to do is drink, drink, drink!”

“Or eat ice cream,” Yochai added.

“Hmm, that’s a good idea!” I said. “How about we go treat ourselves to an ice cream?”

The thought of a soft, cold ice cream gave us the energy to climb down from the tree. We wandered lazily through the alleyways of the Old City up to the main street, to Friedman’s factory that sells ice creams at bargain prices.

“What flavor shall we get?” Natanel asked, rummaging through the freezer.

“What have they got?” I asked.

“Nothing really exciting,” he replied. “Just the regulars — chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.”

“Oof!” I complained. “Why can’t people be more imaginative?! There are so many yummy flavors you could make ice cream from, and all we get is chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla! Why, I could think up ten flavors right now on the spot!”

“Nu, so go on, let’s hear them!” Yochai challenged me.

“Okay, so how about caramel and peanut butter?” I threw out one for starters.

“Ugh!” both my friends groaned. “Peanut butter ice cream? That’s disgusting!”

“Okay, so I guess everyone has different taste,” I admitted. “But there must be more ways to enjoy ice cream than these three boring flavors!”

We strolled back toward the Old City, licking our ice creams. I was thoughtful; I could feel one of my ideas coming on.

“I’ve got it!” I burst out, almost knocking Yochai’s ice cream out of his hand. “Let’s have an ice cream competition! Everyone has to invent an original flavor, and the one voted the best wins the prize!”

“Sounds good,” Natanel agreed. “But where are we going to get a prize from?”

“Oh, don’t worry about that.” I waved him off. “A prize is no problem, I’ll see to that!”

I had no idea what I would do for a prize, actually, but I was sure I would think of something.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” I told them. “I need to do some thinking.”

I went to my favorite thinking spot - our hideout in the olive tree. After a while I headed back up to the main street to speak to someone. Then, satisfied with my work, I went home.

The next day I announced my grand plan to Natanel and Yochai. “Friedman’s Ice Cream Factory has offered a year’s free supply of ice cream to the winner of our competition! But not only that; they said they’ll add the winning flavor to their ice creams!”

“Wow, that’s awesome!” The boys were suitably impressed.

Ima was less impressed when I got home and excitedly explained my idea to her.

“Very nice, Yosef Chaim, but there’s one big problem. None of you know how to make ice cream!” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 673)