M iriam had made a beautiful Rosh Hashanah card at Morah’s playgroup. She put it carefully away in her bag. She planned to give it to Mommy and Daddy on Rosh Hashanah as a surprise. In the meanwhile, she would need to hide it somewhere.

On the way home with Mommy, Miriam couldn’t resist stopping every few minutes and peeping into her bag.

“What’s up, Miriam?” asked Mommy. “Why do you keep stopping?”

“I need to look at somefing ’portant,” replied Miriam mysteriously.

“Really? What might that be?” asked Mommy.

“I can’t say, ’cuz it’s a s’prise,” explained Miriam. “I made it for you an’ Daddy, for Rosh Hashanah. An’ I colored it an’ I wrote ‘Shanah Tovah’ on it. But I’m not saying what it is.”

“Hmm,” responded Mommy, hiding a smile. “I guess we’ll just have to wait until Rosh Hashanah.”

At home, Miriam took the card up to her room and debated where to put it. It wouldn’t do to leave it lying around. In the end, she hid it under a pile of clean shirts lying on a chair.

All went well until the next day. Miriam’s big sister Leah went around collecting everyone’s shirts for the ironing pile. Her hands were still wet from taking a wash out of the machine. She picked up Moishy’s shirts from the chair they were on, and something fell out from underneath.

“What’s this?” muttered Leah to herself, bending down and picking it up. “Oh! It’s a Rosh Hashanah card. It looks like Miriam’s. How sweet.”

She replaced the card on the chair, and went on her way. But, oh dear. When Leah had picked up the card with her wet hands, she’d accidentally smudged it. It now bore a large, ugly blotch.

Nobody noticed until later that evening, when Miriam decided to have another look at her precious card. She was surprised to see that all the shirts had disappeared from the chair, but at least the card was still there. She picked it up — and let out a loud, anguished yell.

“Waaaaaaaaaaaah! My card! It’s ruined!”

Mommy and Leah and Chavi and Moishy all came running to see what the matter was. They found Miriam sobbing bitterly. It took a long time until she calmed down enough to talk coherently.

“I made you a Rosh Hashanah card,” hiccupped Miriam. “I wanted it to be a s’prise.”

“Mm-hmm.” Mommy nodded sympathetically.

“An’ now it’s ruined!” Miriam broke into renewed sobbing. “I don’t like it any more. It’s yucky.”

“I don’t think it’s yucky,” commented Leah. “Look how nicely you colored the apple.”

“And I like the way you wrote Shanah Tovah,” pointed out Chavi. “It looks like a big girl wrote it.”

“I are a big girl,” pointed out Miriam in between sobs.

“And the honey jar is so neat,” observed Moishy admiringly.

But although Miriam was slightly comforted by all the compliments, every time she caught sight of the blotchy card she burst into tears all over again. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 678)