Faygie Gut
“Ma, I do NOT want Basya to come. I DON’T let!” I stomp into the kitchen, brushing my hair. Mommy looks up from cream cheese sandwiches.

“Hello, sunshine. Can we start from ‘good morning’?”

I sulk. “Maaa!”

She sighs. “Yes, cutie?”

“I don’t want her to come!” I wail.

“I know, Shan. I know you don’t want her to come.”

“So tell them not to come!” I pour cornflakes into a bowl and start eating grumpily.

Ma smiles apologetically. “Shani, they’re coming for Pesach, and that part isn’t changing,” she says, filling water bottles. “But let’s try to think creatively. Maybe there’s something that we can do to make it easier for you.”

“Nothing!” I say. “Unless you let me go with Leah to her grandparents,” I grumble, ’cuz I know Ma doesn’t let. She pats my head as she leaves the kitchen to get Shimi out to the bus.

I stare at my cereal. I hate Basya. She is the meanest, most immature baby in the entire world. Last time she came, she told me I was a nerd and acted like she was so cool the entire time. She was so mean, she teamed up with Adina and Moishy and told them not to play with me. And she cheated on Perpetual Commotion. It was so stupid. You can’t play with cheaters.

She’s the worst cousin ever. Ma calls her “challenging” and says we should try to be nice to her if we can. At least she lives in England and I never see her.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 757)


The Pesach Thief

Yehuda Bromberg

My name is Shlomo Bergman and I live in a small Jewish community with just one kosher supermarket. My father is the proud owner of The Kosher Spot and I have been his faithful right-hand man ever since I was old enough to lift a box.

“Pesach’s in three weeks, Shlomo,” my father told me as he placed an order for a huge shipment of glatt kosher groceries. “I need you available right when you get out of school, okay? I’m short on staff and someone needs to fill delivery orders, stock the shelves, and collect the stray carts left in the parking lot. Can I count on you?”

“Of course!”

I love action, especially when it involves physical labor. I’m a tall, strong kid and there’s no task in the supermarket too difficult for me. I even know how to operate the many different types of machinery we use in the store.

“Hey, kid.”

I turn around and see Louis, the security guard, walking behind me down the aisle.

“Hi, Louis. Any action?”


Of course not. Nothing criminal ever takes place here. Our supermarket has never experienced an incident of shoplifting, armed robbery, or even a stolen shopping cart. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure why my father keeps paying Louis to stick around.

“You look like you’re deep in thought, kid.”


“Didn’t realize you were still here, Louis.”

“Yeah, well, I’m always here, aren’t I?”

“Yep, you are.”

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 757)


Keeping Secrets

Chaya Rosen

The peanut butter cookies I’d made the day before were perfect, I decided, as I took another bite out of my third cookie. Luscious, rich, awesome texture — everything you’d look for in a PB cookie.

“Hey, Dassi, look over there.” Basya grabbed my arm as she hissed in my ear. I tore myself away from my perfect peanut-butter cookie and looked up just in time to see someone I didn’t recognize walk into our classroom. “Uh, hello?” Basya murmured into my ear. “Wrong address?”

“Maybe not,” I said. “I heard Mrs. Pinkus saying something about us getting a new girl.” Ha. I love gathering information no one else knows and dropping it at just the right moment.

“No way,” Basya breathed. “Who moves in March?”

“Her family, apparently,” I responded, watching the newcomer curiously. She was slight and almost wispy, with dark wavy hair tied into a tight ponytail, looking uncomfortable and unsure as her eyes roamed the classroom.

“Let’s go say hello.” Basya stood and yanked my arm. It didn’t take more prodding, though I did take my cookies along.

“Hi,” Basya called as we approached the girl, and within seconds, a whole group of girls congregated around her. Her eyes immediately dropped to the floor.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 757)


“Don’t Tell Me What to Do”

Chani Muller


Shuey, move your rook! You can almost check Shmuli!

I tensed. Eliyahu was sitting too close to me. Its not easy having a younger brother who wants to tag along with you and watch you play with your friends Shabbos afternoons.

When I looked down at the board, I realized Eliyahu was right. That didnt mean I was going to listen to him, though. Thats all I needed, for Shmuli to see that Eliyahu was better at chess than I was. Still, I wanted to win the game. I put my fingers over the rook while I scanned the board. Oh, the castle. It would take a bit of luck, but if Shmuli didnt catch on in the next two moves, I could move in on his king soon.

He caught on, though. And several moves later he triumphantly yelled Checkmate! at the same time that Eliyahu said, But Shuey, you could have won if you wouldve listened to me. I gritted my teeth. Why was it so hard for Eliyahu to understand that winning because he told me what to do wasnt worth anything?

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 757)