Moishy and Miriam Morris trailed home gloomily. Sunny Lane wouldn’t be the same without Jolly Solly
was unusual to see Jolly Solly walking around without a smile on his face. But his mother had gotten sick, and the clown was worriedly rushing around making arrangements. A doctor had visited earlier and told Jolly Solly his mother needed to go away for a while to the mountains, where the clean air would help her recover.
The perfect place had been found, and Jolly Solly wanted to leave as soon as possible.
Mrs. Morris kindly offered to prepare meals for Mr. Krankowitz, instead of the clown’s mother. Mrs. Faigelbaum said she would visit the sick kids in the hospital while Jolly Solly was away.
Soon a large taxi arrived, with plenty of room for Jolly Solly’s mother to sit comfortably, and the pair climbed inside. All of Sunny Lane came out to wish a “refuah sheleimah” and wave goodbye. The taxi drove off slowly, so as not to jostle the patient. Then it turned the corner and was gone.
Mr. Krankowitz tap-tapped back toward his house with a scowl on his face. Who knew what his dinners were going to be like now? Jolly Solly’s mother knew exactly how he liked them. Mrs. Morris didn’t. He hoped he wouldn’t starve.
Moishy and Miriam Morris trailed home gloomily. Sunny Lane wouldn’t be the same without Jolly Solly. They hoped his mother would get better quickly, and things would go back to normal.
Fishel and Faivish Friedman lingered for a while, arguing.
“I’m gonna miss them a ton,” sighed Fishel.
“I’m gonna miss then two tons.”
Suddenly, a voice was heard yelling angrily from across the road: “Quiet! What’re you making such a racket for?”
The troublesome two instantly quieted down before Mr. Krankowitz could threaten to call their father.
Suddenly, Fishel slapped his head.
“Hey, I bet Jolly Solly forgot!”
“He goes once a month to entertain at the Home for Children with Disabilities. He was scheduled to go this afternoon, and now he can’t. The children will be so disappointed.”
“D’you think we should call Jolly Solly? Maybe he can still find someone to take over, although there isn’t much time.”
Fishel’s eyes lit up.
“No, I have a better idea.”
“What?” asked Faivish.
“We’ll go instead! Dunno about music ‘cuz of Sefirah, but we’ll sing.”
“Yeah! Bet they’ll love it! It’s not like we know how to play any instruments, anyway.”
“Let’s practice right now!”
The brothers belted out two different songs at top volume, forgetting all about Mr. Krankowitz.
They made a quick stop at home to tell Mrs. Friedman where they were going, then set off to the Children’s Home.
They didn’t look behind them, but if they had, they’d have seen Mr. Krankowitz trying furiously to catch up, determined to give them a big scolding. How dare they make that dreadful racket, two minutes after he’d told them to be quiet!
Fishel and Faivish arrived at the home where the manager recognized them. He eyed the pair doubtfully. The children were expecting the popular clown, not a pair of messy-looking boys. Then again, maybe it was better than nothing. Reluctantly, he led the brothers into the room where the children were waiting.
Fishel and Faivish leapt onto the stage, as everyone stared in astonishment. They launched into a tuneless song. Suddenly, another figure marched in. It was a furious Mr. Krankowitz, on the trail of the brothers.
The children in the audience were sure the old man was really Jolly Solly, who often came dressed up.
“Look at Jolly Solly’s amazing costume!”
“Wow! He looks just like a real old man!”
Mr. Krankowitz waved his stick at Fishel and Faivish, who shrank back. The children thought it was all part of the show, and clapped loudly.
“Hurrah!” “Good show!”
The old man eyed the audience in surprise. Why, they must be clapping for him, because they liked him! He wasn’t used to clapping and cheering, but it felt good.
The children wanted another song. The manager started a jumpy tune, and all the old man had to do was wave his stick in time, much to everyone’s delight.
Fishel and Faivish took the opportunity to slip away.
Things hadn’t gone quite as planned. But then again — the children were happy. The old man was happy. And, glancing at the coins the manager had pressed into their hands before they disappeared, Fishel and Faivish were happy too.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 958)
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