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Short Story: Sink or Float

Chevi Melamed

“Kinderlach, watch very carefully as I pour the water into this bottle; something interesting is going to happen.”

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eighteen eager eyes peer closely at the old Cola bottle, now clean of its label and filled halfway with oil. I stand slightly behind the boys, waiting to assist Tikva if she needs me.

“Morah, show us already,” Moishy impatiently nudges his way closer.

“Come up, Moishy, you will be my helper. Hold on to the funnel and don’t let go.”

The water spills into the bottle, first mingling with the oil and then slowly making its way to the bottom, settling heavily at the base of the bottle.

“Hey, the water went under the oil,” Shaya screams with glee.

“The water fell down and can’t get up,” Moishy intones.

Heshy pushes his way forward, wanting to be heard as well, “Morah, right it’s true that the oil can float? My tatty told me that.”

“Morah, the oil is better because it’s on top and it pushed the water all the way down,” Yossi declared definitively.

Morah Tikva straightened and looked at her adorable charges. “Everyone is right; the oil floats on top, while the water settles to the bottom of the bottle. Now kinderlach, the first table will paint their paper dreidels with oil and see another surprise happen, the second table will peel potatoes for latkes, the third table will count Chanukah gelt, and on the last table there will be four oil and water bottles that you can shake up and down. Watch how the water always goes down and the oil stays on top.”


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