I wanted to ask Asher, “So, do our kids’ toys interest you after all?” but I kept my mouth shut, and he walked back and forth in front of the shelves and looked at the display, like everyone else.
I reminded everybody: “No handling the exhibits!” and turned back to Shuki, but a boy I didn’t know approached me and began to fire questions: “What is this menorah made of? Who painted all the tiny paintings on this dreidel? What is this fancy tower, a spice box for Havdalah? Wow! Our spice box for Havdalah is just plain plastic like the ones with paprika or black pepper. Where can you buy things like this? How much do they cost?”
Reb Nissan wasn’t there, so I tried to answer as best I could. Then we went on to talk about other things. His name was Yair, and he seemed like a really nice kid.
When Yair left, I saw it was closing time. I told the last visitors it was time to leave, and was about to leave myself and lock the door behind me. I just glanced around first to make sure everything was in order, picked up a candy bar wrapper and a plastic bag from the floor, straightened a grogger that had somehow moved from its place despite the warnings against touching the exhibits, took a last look around and… hey! Why was there an empty space on one of the shelves?
Well, not exactly empty, the base was there — the glass circle with the dent in the center. But the dreidel that’s supposed to stand upright in it — that special purple glass dreidel, with the glowing yellow letters and the white waves inside — was gone.
I scanned the shelves quickly. It had to be somewhere. I would just put it back and go home, I was getting hungry and—
The dreidel wasn’t there.
Not on any of the shelves. Not hiding behind any other item. Not on the floor. Not anywhere in the cleaning supplies room, that is, the museum, that is, the exhibition — oh, what does it matter what it’s called? What matters is that I was on duty today; I was supposed to watch over the collection. And I was the one who thought up the whole idea of an exhibition open to the public. I’m responsible for the disappearance of this special dreidel. What will I tell Reb Nissan? I only wanted to make him happy, that was the whole point of the museum, and here I caused just the opposite!
I closed my eyes and whispered a prayer. I opened them again, hoping against hope to suddenly see the purple dreidel standing on its base as usual. But no. It wasn’t there.
Home. Quick! Maybe Mommy will know what to do. Oh no, I’m so flustered, I almost forgot to lock the door behind me! That’s all I need, to have more things stolen!
Stolen? Could the dreidel have been stolen?
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 748)
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