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Jolly Solly: Summer Plans

R. Atkins

“Let’s ask Mommy if we can go somewhere else instead of Miami. I mean, there are lots of other exotic places in the world”

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

 Mishpacha image

 

D

isaster had struck in the Friedman household — at least, as far as Fishel and Faivish were concerned. They’d just found out there was to be no vacation in Miami this year. Their grandmother had recently recovered from a nasty virus and was planning to spend a relaxing vacation in a health resort. As a result, she wouldn’t be hosting any family members this year.

“This is terrible!” moaned Fishel.

“It’s more than terrible. It’s horrible,” groaned Faivish.

“Same thing,” pointed out Fishel.

“No it’s not! Horrible is… well, horribler.”

“No such word.”

“You bet there is.”

“Prove it.”

“Don’t need to. I know it up here,” retorted Faivish, pointing to his head.

Fishel considered consulting a dictionary, but it was too much work. He swiftly changed the subject.

“So… what are we going to do with ourselves all summer?”

“I don’t know.” Faivish sighed. “We’re probably going to be the only people in the universe stuck at home.”

“Let’s ask Mommy if we can go somewhere else instead of Miami. I mean, there are lots of other exotic places in the world. We could stay in a fancy hotel somewhere.”

“Mmm,” murmured Faivish dreamily, as he envisioned himself sitting by the poolside while gloved waiters glided silently past bearing silver platters.

Eager to set their dream holiday in motion, the troublesome pair hurtled downstairs in search of their mother. But she was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Mr. Friedman was in the hallway, closing his briefcase.

“Er, where’s Mommy?” Fishel asked.

“We need to ask her something important,” chimed in Faivish.

“Well, you can ask me instead,” responded Mr. Friedman. “Mommy had to step out.”

Fishel and Faivish hemmed and hawed nervously.

“Is this something about the vacation?” demanded Mr. Friedman. “Mommy told me you wouldn’t be too happy about not going to Miami this year.”

At the look on their faces, he knew he’d hit the bull’s-eye. 

.

 

“Well, it’s been decided. You’re going to summer camp instead,” he informed his sons.

Fishel and Faivish stared at each other in shock. Summer camp? No airplane flights, with seats that went up and down, and cabin staff at their beck and call? No sea air, and endlessly sunshiny Miami weather? No scrumptious suppers, consisting of their favorite foods, created especially for them by a doting grandma?

Mr. Friedman smiled thinly.

“Mommy and I feel it’s about time you boys toughened up a bit. Summer camp is a no-frills kind of holiday, but it’s good honest fun. Oh, and I’ve decided there’s no reason you can’t do some good honest labor before you go. Why, when I was a boy everybody took on summer jobs.”

Fishel and Faivish’s mouths dropped open.

“Unfortunately, you’re too young to take on paid jobs. However, Gavriel the grocer is desperately looking for a couple of young lads to help him schlep boxes this Sunday. Just think, boys! Besides being a good deed, this will give you backbone. This will develop grit and character and ruggedness.”

Fishel and Faivish were quite happy to leave their grit, character, and ruggedness undeveloped, thank you very much. But they decided it was best not to say anything. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 718)

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