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Small Wonders

Mishpacha Contributors

The smallest acts can go an almost miraculously, long way. Enjoy our special Chanukah story supplement and remember that even the smallest thing can make all the difference!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Surprise, Surprise!

R. Atkins

Berel and Shmerel were enjoying their favorite activity — namely, lounging around on the sofa. They watched idly as their mother bustled about cleaning up the living room, but it was far too much effort to actually offer to lend a hand.

Mrs Quicksilver glared at the lazy twins.

“Get up, will you?” she ordered. “Can’t you see what a mess this place is? Berel, I want you to sweep the floor. Shmerel, put away the books.”

Berel decided the safest bet was to pretend to be asleep. He gave a loud snore for effect.

Shmerel buried himself under a fleece blanket, pretending he hadn’t heard a thing.

Mrs Quicksilver tightened her lips.

“It’s high time something was done about this pair,” she muttered to herself. “Hmm. I think I’ll call my nephew Levi over. Lightning Levi will soon teach his cousins a lesson.”

The next Sunday afternoon, the twins came home from school and made a beeline for the kitchen as usual. They intended to dig in to their normal hearty Sunday lunch, and then recuperate from their exertions by going to bed for a long nap. Following that, it would be supper time, after which it would be time for bed again. What a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

However, their mother had other plans. She greeted them with her coat on, looking rushed.

 

“Hello, boys. I’ve got an appointment this afternoon. I’ve left you sandwiches. When you finish eating, there’s a list of jobs to do in the house. Oh, and Cousin Levi will be coming to keep an eye on you — and to help with the jobs.”

The boys — whose level of interest in sandwiches, jobs, and Cousin Levi ranked equal at about zero — were about to protest. But just then the doorbell rang.

Mrs Quicksilver buzzed in Cousin Levi, and before the twins could say a single word, she was gone.

“Hi, there,” Levi announced, looking energetic and cheerful.

“Uh… hi,” responded Berel dully.

“Yeah, hi,” echoed Shmerel listlessly.

“Your mother said there was a bunch of jobs to do,” Levi said briskly. “And that there would be some kind of treat when they were done. Shall we get to work?”

Berel yawned. Shmerel stretched tiredly.

“You can get to work if you want,” drawled Berel. “I’m gonna have lunch first. Followed by some serious relaxation.”

“Yeah, me too,” echoed Shmerel.

Levi shrugged. He found a list on the counter with his name on it, read through the first item — “vacuum the guest bedroom; don’t forget to move the beds” — rolled up his sleeves, and got to work.

He vacuumed the room thoroughly, and then moved the two beds aside so as to get underneath. There was something shiny lying there. He picked it up.

It was a dollar! There was a little note attached saying:

“If you find it — you keep it! Mrs. Quicksilver”

Levi pocketed the dollar with a grin.

He checked the list for the next job.

It was “dusting the shelves in the guest bedroom.”

Levi found a duster, and started wiping the shelves. He made sure to pick up all the ornaments so as to dust underneath.

There, under a vase, he found another dollar — and a note:

“If you find it — you keep it! Mrs. Quicksilver”

Levi was delighted. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 689)

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