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Jr. Tales: The Basketball Solution

Rachel Stein

All our games turn into fights. He sighed, wondering if he should stop playing sports with his class. It just wasn’t worth it

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

 Mishpacha image

 

R

acing at breakneck speed, Daniel had his eye on the base. Just another few seconds, he thought, and I’ll be safe!

With relief, his foot touched base just as the cry rang in his ears. “You’re out!”

Furious, Daniel glared at Rafi.

“What are you talking about?” he demanded, red-faced and huffing from exertion. “I’m safe as can be!”

“Sorry, Daniel,” Yaakov agreed. “He got you a split-second before you landed on base.”

A tornado of angry words swirled between the two teams, growing stronger and more powerful with each burst of indignation. Before anyone knew what happened, class war was officially declared.

“You’re a bunch of cheaters!” Daniel’s team yelled.

“Learn how to play a game!” Rafi’s team retorted.

When the recess bell pealed, two angry teams walked toward their classroom, a wide distance between the groups.

“Good morning,” Mr. Jacobs greeted the boys. “How was your game?”

“They’re a bunch of cheaters,” Nesanel muttered, glaring at the other team.

“Takes one to know one!” Yitzy insisted.

“Oh.” Mr. Jacobs put a hand up. “Sorry I asked. I thought recess was supposed to be fun.” He swept the room with a puzzled, somewhat disappointed glance, and 20 glowering faces stared back.

“Well then, let’s move to a different topic, shall we? Our school-wide history fair is coming up in a few weeks. Here is your assignment. Each of you will pick a famous sport and research its history. Be sure to include information like how the sport started and who invented it. Good luck with your projects, boys, and let me know if you need help. Now let’s open to chapter seven in your textbooks.”

That afternoon, Daniel walked home, shoulders slumped and head hanging low.

.

 

Why can’t we ever have fun when we play together? All our games turn into fights. He sighed, wondering if he should stop playing sports with his class. It just wasn’t worth it.

“Hi, Ma,” he called when he got home. “Something smells great! What’s for dinner?”

“Spaghetti and meatballs.” Mommy turned around to give him a smile. “How was your day?”

“Okay.” Daniel shrugged, and a cloud passed over his eyes. “Would you take me to the library tonight? I have a project and I need to do research.”

“Sure,” Mommy agreed. “We can go after dinner.”

Walking into the library, Daniel’s mind was spinning. What sport should I choose? Definitely not baseball. The memory made him grimace and he suddenly shouted, “I was safe!”

“Excuse me, young man!” The stern librarian wagged her finger at him, her eyes shooting daggers. “Raised voices are not allowed in our library.”

“Oops!” Daniel gasped and clapped his hand over his mouth. “Sorry,” he said sheepishly. “I was thinking about something else and forgot where I was for a minute.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 717)

 

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