“Slow down. Let’s think logically. What exactly is suspicious here? Kids always like to look at animals”
The nice, normal kid turned sharply away from the fence. For a moment he looked in my direction, his eyes wide and startled behind his large glasses. Then he turned his back on me and began to walk quickly away down the street, in Asher’s direction. I waited a moment and then started following him.
From afar I saw Asher behind a tree. Was that his idea of hiding? You could see him right away. He would have attracted less attention if he had just stood as usual on the sidewalk, instead of trying to hide behind a tree that was narrower than him.
Asher came out from behind the tree and said something to the boy in the glasses, who continued walking on without stopping. Asher came toward me, and Moishy came out of the yard and joined us.
“Couldn’t you catch him?” I was disappointed.
“What do you think I am, a policeman?” protested Asher. “How exactly could I have prevented him from getting away? You wouldn’t have been able to do it either.”
“Maybe at least I would have gotten some information from him.”
“How? I asked him what he wanted here, but he just said ‘nothing, I was only looking,’ and walked straight on.”
“Sounds suspicious,” I said.
“Terribly suspicious!” cried Moishy.
Asher looked thoughtful. “Slow down. Let’s think logically. What exactly is suspicious here? Kids always like to look at animals.”
“So why can’t he just say he likes to look at animals?” I objected. “Why doesn’t he ask to come in and see them up close? Why does he seem scared when we approach him?”
“Well, we’ll just have to keep the gate locked at all times,” Asher concluded. “That way no one will be able to come in and take Peaky out of his cage.”
Such a simple solution… Good thing I didn’t involve the secret club in this adventure. Just like I thought, it was over almost before it started.
“Mrs. Shulman is back at Zchus Avos!” Mommy informed me a few days later, as soon as I got home from school, even before I asked. “Bubby called to let us know.”
“Really? Is she all better?” I dropped my backpack onto the floor and started dancing as if I was in rehearsal. “Baruch Hashem, I’m so glad she’s out of the hospital! I was worried about her… I’ll go visit her, and we can go ahead with our plans for the play!”
Mommy laughed. “Not so fast… let her recover a little first. She must still be weak, and besides, Bubby said her daughter is with her today. You’d better wait till tomorrow.”
I called Esti to tell her the good news, and Esti immediately suggested, “Let’s start writing together, you and me. We’ll do the best we can on our own, and then Mrs. Shulman can go over it and suggest improvements.”
to be continued…
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 861)
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