C racking open one eye and then the other, Nachi knew something felt different this morning. When he looked out his window, he did a double take and everything became strikingly clear.

“Whoopee!” he shouted, leaping into the air.

A thick layer of foamy white blanketed the grass and trees. Pounding down the stairs, Nachi rushed to the kitchen in search of his mother.

“What’s the scoop, Ma?” His cheeks were flushed with excitement. “Do we have a snow day?”

“You sure do.” Mommy turned to him with a smile. “Your dream come true.”

“Awesome!” Nachi shouted.

He knew exactly how he would spend this wonderful, blustery day. Visions of dollar bills floating toward him after each walk he would shovel danced through his mind. A smile played on his lips as he davened and ate, moving quickly through his routine. He could hardly wait to get started.

The identical scenario was taking place across the street in Aryeh’s house. Aryeh had hatched the very same plan.

A short time later, Nachi and Aryeh stepped outside, wincing as a frigid blast stung their cheeks. Both were well wrapped, clad in parkas, gloves, hats, boots, and scarves. A shovel dangled from each set of hands.

When Nachi set eyes on Aryeh, his heart dropped like an icicle plopping off a tree branch. Copycat! Nachi thought, his eyes narrowing. Well, I’ll show him. I’ll pick up much more business than he ever can. With determined steps, Nachi and Aryeh set off on opposite sides of the block. Nachi quickened his steps, hurried to the Katzes, and rang their bell.

“Good morning,” he greeted Mr. Katz. “Would you like your walk shoveled?”

“That would be great!” Mr. Katz agreed. “How much do you charge?”

Nachi thought fast. “Would $20 be okay?”

“If you do a good job, it’s worth it,” Mr. Katz said.

Across the street, Nachi noticed Aryeh knocking at the Blums’ door. In short order, Aryeh was hunched over, panting heavily as he shoveled through piles of snow.

I have to finish first! Nachi told himself, pushing his arms to work harder, faster. If I can get most of the neighborhood’s business, then I’ll earn the most money.

Two hours and six houses later, there wasn’t a limb in Nachi’s body that wasn’t creaking and groaning. He sighed, his breath forming a frosty circle. He was more than ready to collapse in his cozy, warm house, put his feet up, and sip a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Patting his pocket, Nachi felt a whoosh of excitement. He could feel the bills crinkling and was eager to tally up the grand total. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 692)