M iriam had received a new set of colored markers from Bubby. She was very excited. She took them to Morah’s playgroup in the morning, where all the children had a grand time using the markers to draw pictures. Then Leeba and some of the others decided to draw on their sweaters, at which point Morah quickly intervened and took the markers away. Afterward, Morah told Miriam that the markers were so special, it would be safer if the little girl would just keep them at home, and in playgroup everyone would carry on using wax crayons for their pictures as usual.

When Miriam got home from playgroup that day, she took out her markers immediately. She didn’t even want anything to eat. Mommy gave her a sketch pad that was lying around, and Miriam spent hours in deep concentration drawing a whole bunch of pictures that looked like nothing at all.

Mommy thought Miriam would get tired of her markers soon enough, but they seemed endlessly fascinating. At suppertime, Miriam even wanted to bring them to the table and keep them next to her plate; but Mommy explained they might get dirty, so Miriam reluctantly agreed to have them put away on a nearby shelf where she “could look at dem da whole time.”

After supper, it was time for bed. Mommy was just about to take the little girl upstairs, when she stopped in shock.

“Miriam! What on earth have you done?” she cried in dismay.

Daddy’s passport was on the counter. Miriam, thinking it was another interesting type of sketch pad, had decorated the pages with colorful squiggles.

The little girl hung her head.

“Don’t you know this is a very important document? You mustn’t color on other people’s things. Why, Daddy might not be able to use his passport now with all your scribbles on it.”

“Dat’s not scribbles, it’s p-p-pictures,” stammered Miriam.

“Scribbles or pictures, they have no place in a passport,” Mommy pointed out. “You must only use your markers in a proper sketch pad, or if I give you papers. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” whispered Miriam.”

Moishy walked into the room just then, and spotted Daddy’s passport.

“Hey! Someone’s messed up Daddy’s passport!” he exclaimed. “What a dumb thing to do!”

Poor Miriam began to cry.

“Moishy! That’s enough. It was a mistake,” said Mommy firmly.

Moishy thought for a moment.

“You know, Jolly Solly once told me he can fix damaged books and letters. Maybe he could do something with this passport.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 686)