“Sorry, you can’t have that. It’s dusty and dirty, not a doggie”
Bracha sighed. Chananya was lying on the floor wailing again. What had happened to her sunny-natured little boy? She picked him up and tried to comfort him.
“Why, I believe you’re sick!” she exclaimed, feeling his forehead. Bracha took his temperature. Sure enough, the little boy was running fever.
As soon as Naftali came home, they took Chananya to the doctor for a check-up. Fortunately, it was nothing worse than a slight flu. His temperature was already going down.
“No medication needed right now,” said the doctor. “Just keep an eye on him to make sure his temperature isn’t rising again. He’ll likely be cranky for a bit, but that’s nothing to worry about.”
Naftali and Bracha were relieved to hear there was nothing seriously wrong. But meanwhile, they had a grumpy little boy to deal with.
Bracha took out some toys. Chananya turned away. Bracha brought out a colorful picture book. He threw it under the sofa.
“Chananya! That wasn’t nice!” said Bracha. She felt around under the sofa for the book. She only found a ball of fluff.
Chananya brightened slightly.
“Woof woof!” he said, which was his name for doggies. He reached for the fluff.
“Sorry, you can’t have that. It’s dusty and dirty, not a doggie.”
Bracha quickly threw it away. Chananya started wailing again.
By the end of the afternoon, Chananya was as mopey and miserable as ever. Naftali and Bracha looked utterly exhausted.
“What are we going to do?” sighed Bracha. “I’ve tried putting him to sleep, and he just moans and cries. His fever’s gone, baruch Hashem, but he’s cranky, just like the doctor said. I wish there was a way to cheer him up.”
“We need that clown fellow, what’s his name, who lives near your parents,” said Naftali. “I wish he could come and make Chananya happy.”
Bracha’s eyes lit up. “What a great idea, Naftali!”
“What do you mean? Has he moved into the building next door or something?”
“No, but why don’t we call him and ask for his advice? He’s sure to think of something.”
It took only a minute to get the clown’s phone number. Jolly Solly was very sorry to hear about Chananya.
“We must find something to cheer him up,” he said. “What does he like?”
“Well, he likes airplanes,” said Naftali. “He sits by the big window in our apartment watching them. Thing is, they don’t come by very often. Oh, and we overlook a park. Chananya enjoys watching kites flying there, especially the brightly colored ones. But nobody’s flying kites at this time of year.”
“I see,” replied the clown slowly. “Do you know, I think you’ve given me an idea. I’ll be in touch.”
Chananya slept poorly that night, with his parents taking turns getting up with him. By the morning everyone was exhausted and grumpy.
Chananya lay glumly on the rug by the window.
“Woof woof!” he whined, pointing under the sofa.
“Sorry, there’s no woof woof there,” replied Bracha.
“Candy in da sky.”
“There’s no candy in the sky, either,” she said wearily.
Chananya suddenly sat up, alert. He pointed to the window excitedly.
Naftali raised his eyes tiredly, then sat up straight.
“What’s that?!” he cried.
Bracha came over to the window to see what all the fuss was about.
What a sight met the three astonished pairs of eyes!
A hot air balloon, striped like a giant pink-and-white candy, floated by. It was so close they could see the pilot, holding a banner.
“Refuah Sheleimah to Chananya,” it read. Chananya couldn’t read the words, but he recognized the picture of Jolly Solly, from his visits to the Morrises.
The balloon sailed back and forth. The pilot waved cheerfully, and the excited little boy waved back.
Naftali and Bracha smiled at each other.
“Something tells me he’ll sleep well tonight,” said Naftali.
“Yeah, which means we might sleep well, too,” replied Bracha.
“Good old Jolly Solly,” said Naftali. “He said he thought he had an idea. And he did!”
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 892)
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