F ishel and Faivish wore long faces and felt utterly miserable. They couldn’t believe that the two weeks in Miami had flown by so fast, and it was time to go home. Their mother had sent them to their room to get started on the packing.

“This is dreadful,” moaned Fishel.

“Devastating,” groaned Faivish

“Dire,” wailed Fishel.

“Disastrous,” mourned Faivish.

“Maybe we should run and hide somewhere,” Fishel muttered. “So we miss our flight.”

“Daddy would hit the roof,” pointed out Faivish practically.

While soft-hearted Mrs. Friedman could usually be relied upon to see their side of things, Mr. Friedman was a different story.

With heavy sighs, the boys half-heartedly started dropping items into their suitcases, before giving up.

“I know what. Let’s go for a stroll and at least enjoy a bit of fresh, unpolluted air while we can,” suggested Fishel. “After all, how long can it take to finish packing already?”

“Exactly,” Faivish agreed with his brother, for a change. “It won’t take more than a minute or two to bung all our stuff into suitcases.”

Fishel and Faivish were off. They enjoyed their stroll, as a gentle breeze caressed their cheeks.

“It’s so nice here,” said Fishel.

“Yeah. Who wants to go back home?”

“And back to school.”

“And back to homework.”

“It’s dreadful,” moaned Fishel all over again.

“Distressing,” groaned Faivish.

Fishel abruptly changed the subject.

“Hey, look, there’s a pet shop over there.”

“Yeah. And a parrot in the window. Doesn’t he remind you of Tuki?”

The boys went over to the window and made faces at the parrot, trying to get him to talk. The bird just stared unblinkingly at them.

Eventually the boys trudged back to their grandmother’s apartment dejectedly. They were greeted by an annoyed-looking Mrs. Friedman.

“Fishel and Faivish! Where on earth have you been? Don’t you know it’s almost time to leave? Now get to your room and finish packing right away.”

“Okay,” Fishel and Faivish mumbled dully.

They looked around their room. There was so much stuff! How would they ever manage?

“I wish Jolly Solly was here,” said Fishel.

“Yeah, remember how he and Tuki got our packing done in a jiffy before we came? Tuki’s smart, not like that dumb parrot in the pet shop.”

Just then, their grandmother put her head inside their room.

“How’s it going?” she asked. “I’m going to miss you.”

“Yeah, same here,” sighed Fishel. “It’s not really going very well at all.” He shrugged helplessly.

“I think it’s too much for two kids to do on their own,” Faivish added, putting on his most pitiful expression.

“When I’m bigger I’ll invent a robot,” declared Fishel, perking up.

“What for? asked Faivish.

“It’ll be a slave robot,” explained Fishel. “It’ll bring things, and do all kinds of jobs, including packing.”

“I’m gonna invent a slave robot too,” responded Faivish. “And it’s gonna be bigger and better than yours!”

“Copycat!”

“Loppycat!”

“Ahem.” Grandma cleared her throat quickly. “Now, I may not have a robot on hand, but I do have another idea.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 674)