| Jolly Solly |

Jolly Mommy

“Please, Mommy, I don’t wanna smash it. I want to show it to Daddy when he comes home!”

Efraim Faigelbaum had discovered blocks. Mr. Faigelbaum had bought him a big box of blocks as a present many months ago. At the time, Efraim showed little interest. Now, however, the little boy was enjoying the toy. Dumping the blocks onto the floor, he started putting one on top of the other.

“Look, Mommy!” he called. Mommy came quickly.

“Well done, Efraim dear!” she said. “You made a tower!”

Efraim was very proud of his tower. He added some more blocks to make it taller. Then the blocks collapsed. Efraim had to start all over again, but soon he got the hang of it. Working carefully, he made a very tall tower. Why, it was almost as tall as he was! And it wasn’t even falling down!

Efraim showed his tower to the mailman when he delivered a package. Even Mr. Krankowitz wasn’t spared. He came to borrow a soft cloth to shine the leaves of his rosebushes.

“Look, Mr. Krank!” called Efraim. He could never quite manage to get the old man’s name right. “I made a big tower!”

The old man had little interest in talking to small boys. He had no interest in looking at towers. He muttered something about more important things to do.

But Efraim heard only the word “important.” He knew that meant kind of special, so he beamed up at Mr. Krankowitz. To his surprise, the old man found himself smiling back. Before he knew it, he was even complimenting Efraim on his amazing structure.

Soon it was bedtime.

“Cleanup time,” said Mrs. Faigelbaum firmly, clapping her hands. Normally, Efraim put his toys away nicely. But now, he wasn’t cleaning up. Instead, he was standing in front of his tower, arms spread wide.

“Daddy hasn’t seen it yet,” he said. “Please, Mommy, I don’t wanna smash it. I want to show it to Daddy when he comes home!”

Hmm, thought Mrs. Faigelbaum. What do I do now? Efraim wants to show his tower to his father. But Daddy won’t be home until much later. And he’ll come in with all of his heavy bird equipment. All of it has to be carried out to the shed. Efraim’s tower is slap-bang in the way. It’ll get knocked down, and tomorrow he’ll have a tantrum.

Mrs. Faigelbaum eyed her son. He was looking up at her, waiting. If only Jolly Solly were here to sort things out! The clown would come up with some brilliant trick, and solve the problem in a jiffy. But she knew Jolly Solly was away on one of his mitzvah missions. Oh, dear. She would need to find a solution herself.

Mrs. Faigelbaum looked around her. She saw their camera on a high shelf, out of reach of little hands. Hmm. That might work.

“Efraim, dear,” she said, bending down to him. “I have an idea. Let’s take a picture of your tower for Daddy before we put the blocks away. Then I can show it to him when he comes home. We can even send the picture to Bubby and Zeidy Faigelbaum, too.”

Efraim thought about it. He liked Bubby and Zeidy Faigelbaum. And if Mommy took a picture, Daddy would see his beautiful tower.

The little boy swallowed bravely.

“Okay,” he said.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 802)

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