M r. Krankowitz had heard on the weather forecast that morning that there was a slight chance of rain. Humph! The old man stamped his foot in annoyance. How would he get his newspaper from the shop in a downpour? And what about the kippers he’d been planning to buy from the fish store? Mr. Krankowitz was extremely partial to a nice grilled kipper, even though the smell always made young Efraim Faigelbaum next door wrinkle up his nose in distaste.

Grouching and grumbling under his breath, Mr. Krankowitz decided he would just have to brave the elements. But first, he needed to ensure he was dressed appropriately. He shuffled over to the closet to look for his raincoat. Next, he pulled out a waterproof hat and boots, and finally, an umbrella to catch any stray raindrops that tried to sneak their way in through the outer layers.

By the time Mr. Krankowitz was fully decked out in all his protective rain gear, it was late. He realized he’d have to hurry if he was to get the kippers in time for dinner. The old man stepped out of his front door — only to stop short in dismay.

The sun was shining! Those ridiculous weather forecast people had gotten it wrong! Waving his walking stick around crossly, the old man debated what to do. There wasn’t enough time to start removing all his extra clothing and take it back inside. He would just have to continue on his way. Perhaps it would cloud over soon, and then he’d be glad of all the protective gear.

But as Mr. Krankowitz marched along, he began to feel awfully hot and uncomfortable. His hat drooped limply over his face, and the raincoat felt stifling. By the time he’d bought his newspaper, his face was red and beads of sweat stood out on his forehead, putting him in an even worse mood than usual. As he approached the fish store, he found himself hoping desperately that the store was air-conditioned.

The old man stopped short a few meters away from his destination. What in the world was going on? The workers were milling around outside, looking flustered and upset. Something must have happened. He spotted Jolly Solly conferring with the manager, and the clown gave him a friendly wave — before stopping in his tracks.

“Mr. Krankowitz! I do believe you are our savior today!” Jolly Solly exclaimed excitedly.

The old man tried to hide his surprise. He didn’t remember ever being called a savior of anything before. Mind you, he’d been called lots of other things in his life, but most of them hadn’t been very complimentary.

The clown explained what was going on.

“There’s a leak in one of the pipes in the fish store, and it’s gushing water all over the place.”

Indeed, the old man could see water spurting all the way out of the shop and forming a growing puddle outside. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 684)