| Jolly Solly |

Flowers and Funny Doggies

“Why did Eli’s Place send flowers?” he asked in surprise. Mrs. Morris shrugged. “It’s a long story, and I couldn’t quite understand it

Moishe and Miriam Morris walked down the road slowly and carefully. Moishe was carrying a beautiful bunch of flowers for his mother for Shavuos. The Rabinowitzes up the road had many flowers growing in their garden, and as they were going away for Shavuos, they’d given the Morris children permission to pick as many as they wanted. Miriam had helped Moishe put together a pretty bouquet.

“Look, dere’s a cat,” observed Miriam, pointing to the ginger cat who often prowled around Sunny Lane.

“Uh huh,” responded Moishe, who was busy trying to hold the flowers upright.

“An’ dere’s a doggy,” continued Miriam.  She stopped short. “A funny one.”

“Mm hmm,” said Moishe, wanting to be home already.

Suddenly, there was a whooshing sound. Something jumped up in front of Moishe, snapped up the bunch of flowers in its mouth, crunched them up, and swallowed them. Then, in the blink of an eye, it was gone.

Moishe stood there, frozen in shock. The whole bunch of flowers gone, in a second! What on earth had happened?

“It was da funny doggy,” declared Miriam.

“What d’you mean by ‘funny doggy’? What was funny about it?” demanded Moishe.

It was all too much for the little girl, who burst into tears. Moishe felt like crying too. After all that hard work, not a single flower left! And it was no use going back to the Rabinowitzes. They’d taken all the nice flowers already, and there was nothing left worth picking.

Suddenly, a booming voice greeted them.

“Hello-hello-hello! What’s all this? You look like a couple of wet hens!” It was Jolly Solly. The clown waggled his ears and eyebrows, looking so funny that Moishe couldn’t help but laugh. Even Miriam gave a watery smile.

“That’s better,” grinned the clown. “Now, what’s going on?”

Moishe explained that a dog had snatched their bunch of flowers and run off.

“A funny doggy,” added Miriam.

The clown bent down until he was eye-level with the little girl.

“What was funny about it?” he asked gently.

“It looked like a zeidy.”

Moishe thought Miriam was talking nonsense.

“Do you mean it had white hair?” asked Jolly Solly.

“Nope. It was brown. But it had a white beard like a zeidy.”

Moishe inwardly scoffed. Whoever heard of a dog with a white beard?

But Jolly Solly was looking excited.

“I think I know who stole your flowers,” he declared. “Back soon!”

He hopped into his cheerful little car and drove off, as Moishe and Miriam stood there in surprise. Where had Jolly Solly gone? And how could he have possibly known who’d stolen the flowers?

Well, it was no use waiting around. Reluctantly, the children started walking home. They’d hardly gone more than a few steps when they heard the sound of a car turning onto Sunny Lane. It pulled over beside them. It was Jolly Solly, back already!

“There’s the thief!” he exclaimed, pointing inside his car.

Moishe and Miriam stared. Curled inside, in a pet carrier, was Gimpel the goat from Eli’s Place!

“It’s da funny doggy,” observed Miriam in satisfaction. “Told you!”

“It’s not a doggy, it’s a goat,” pointed out Moishe.

“It looks like a doggy,” insisted Miriam. “An’ it’s got a zeidy beard.”

Gimpel indeed had a beard that he was very proud of. He eyed the two children contentedly, feeling nice and full after his meal of flowers.

“I found the naughty fellow around the corner,” explained Jolly Solly. “He must’ve escaped somehow. I’ll call up Eli and find out what’s going on.”

Eli was hugely relieved to hear Gimpel was safe. His assistant had taken the goat to the vet, and on the way back, the sneaky animal had given him the slip; the assistant had been hunting everywhere for him.

Eli was sorry to hear about the stolen flowers.

“I’ll order another bunch from the florist,” he declared. “My sincere apologies.”

On Erev Yom Tov, Mr. Morris came home to find a magnificent bunch of flowers on the table, with a card saying, “From Eli’s Place.”

“Why did Eli’s Place send flowers?” he asked in surprise.

Mrs. Morris shrugged. “It’s a long story, and I couldn’t quite understand it. Moishe and Miriam said they’d had a problem with flowers and goats and funny dogs. In the end, Jolly Solly came to the rescue.”

Mr. Morris smiled.

“I’ll have a word with him later. Good old Jolly Solly. Trust him to make sure everything comes up roses.”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 962)

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