| Jolly Solly |

Big Helper

Miriam smiled to herself. She had been so helpful — just like Helpful Hindy! 


iriam Morris was a lot quieter than usual as she walked back home from Morah with her big sister Leah.

“Miriam? Is everything okay?” asked Leah. She always liked hearing what Miriam had to say.


“You’re very quiet today.”

“I’m finking,” said Miriam seriously.

“I see. What’re you thinking about?” asked Leah, hiding a smile.

“Morah told us a story called Helpful Hindy. I’m finking about dat.”

Morah had read the children a beautiful story about a girl called Hindy, who had done lots of mitzvos.  Morah said that each mitzvah was like a brick in the Beis Hamikdash, and that now before Tishah B’Av, everybody should try extra hard to do mitzvos.

Miriam was determined to do many mitzvos! When they got home, she quickly ate something, and then thought back to the story. Hindy had polished her mother’s shoes as a surprise. What a great idea! She would do the same. She went to look for Mrs. Morris’s shoes and found the black pair of heels that she sometimes wore to chasunahs. Miriam got shoe polish and a cloth. She squeezed the bottle, like she’d seen Mommy do, and spread polish over the shoes. It was a bit strange, because although the bottle was black and red and some other colors, with words that Miriam couldn’t read, the shoe polish itself came out white. Oh, well; Mommy would have white chasunah shoes instead of black ones. Miriam thought white shoes for chasunahs were pretty. She left them outside Mommy’s bedroom door.

What had Helpful Hindy done next, Miriam wondered? She’d cleared the supper dishes off the table. That was easy.

After supper that night, Miriam put all the plates in a pile and took them to the sink. She wasn’t tall enough to reach the sink, so she just dropped them in. At least two plates smashed, but Miriam didn’t notice a thing. She was too busy planning her next act of helpfulness.

Miriam remembered that Helpful Hindy had picked up everything from the floor and thrown it in the garbage. There was no garbage on the floor, but there were some letters on the counter that looked like bills. Miriam wasn’t sure what exactly bills were for, but she’d sometimes heard Totty complaining about their bills being too high, so it seemed like they weren’t something he wanted. She’d throw them away, and then Totty wouldn’t have anything to complain about.

Miriam smiled to herself. She had been so helpful — just like Helpful Hindy!

Meanwhile, Mommy went up to her room. She stopped in surprise at the sight of her chasunah shoes in the hallway — they looked kind of strange. “Oh, no! Someone ruined my shoes!” she exclaimed. “They used the wrong color polish!”

Meanwhile, Leah was downstairs in the kitchen. It was her turn to wash dishes tonight.

“What on earth!” she exclaimed, as she saw the sink. “There’s a whole load of smashed plates here!  What a mess!”

She turned to her father, who was searching for something.

“Totty, what should I do?”

“Not now, sorry,” muttered Mr. Morris, looking worried. “I had a bunch of bills to pay and left them on the counter. Now they’re gone! Vanished!”

When Miriam came back into the kitchen, she was surprised to find her father looking upset, and Leah scowling. Mommy’s mutterings could be heard all the way downstairs.

“I fink we need Jolly Solly,” said Miriam to herself. “I don’t know why everyone’s so grumpy.”

She looked out of the window, hoping to see the clown cleaning his open-top car. Sure enough, there he was. Miriam tapped on the glass.

That night, Jolly Solly had a lot of work to do cleaning things up at the Morrises. Mommy, having figured out who the well-meaning culprit was, sent Miriam up to bed before she could ‘help’ anymore. So Miriam didn’t see the clown use a special liquid to get the black shoes back to their original color, just like magic! He also used an amazing glue that fixed the broken dishes so perfectly that you couldn’t even tell they had a crack before. The clown followed the trail of the missing bills all the way to the garbage, and guess what? He even found a $20 bill that someone had accidentally thrown away! Mr. Morris was overjoyed when the clown returned it  to him.

When Moishy went upstairs to the room he shared with his sister Miriam, she was in bed, her eyes drooping.

“Are you tired tonight?” he asked.

“Very, very tired,” she said, her eyes gleaming with excitement. “’Cuz I helped today.” 


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 970)

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