"She’s out there, Arthur, I just know she is. Someone must have helped her escape"
ariah stayed with Yerachmiel and Henny and proved her worth as a maid. She kept the animals well-fed, cleaned up the endless stacks of hay, and straightened up inside the home when it was needed.
One day Henny’s baby would not stop crying for many hours. Desperate and at her wits’ end, she called for Mariah and asked her to hold the baby for a few moments. The young maid took the baby gently and began rocking her in her arms, humming softly.
The baby soon stopped crying and a smile broke out on his face.
Henny’s eyes widened.
“You’re a wonder with babies, Mariah!”
“Really? Thank you!”
“Hmmm… I could use an extra hand with the children when things get really hectic. Would you mind helping me with the young ones every now and then, in addition to your other duties?”
“Oh, I would love that!”
“One day you’ll have children of your own, Mariah. I’m sure you’ll make a wonderful mother.”
Henny smiled at Mariah and the girl beamed with happiness.
From that day on, Mariah became a permanent fixture in the home. She was always available to dress the children for school, clean up their spills, and bandage their small bumps and scrapes when they fell.
Being inside a Jewish home allowed her to observe the Jewish way of life up close. She was in awe of how the family made Torah learning, prayer, and good deeds their most important priorities. She was astonished when she witnessed Henny sell her wedding jewelry and use the funds to hire a scholar to teach her sons.
What a nation! Such resolve! This incredible belief and devotion is unparalleled anywhere else in the world!
Mariah felt a burning desire to learn more about Judaism and she utilized every spare second to pick up a siddur or Tehillim and recite the holy words. One of her greatest accomplishments was the day she revealed to Henny and Yerachmiel that she had learned many of the words in the Yiddish language that the Jews spoke.
Mariah’s time with Yerachmiel and Henny was a very special and happy period in her life. But somewhere not too far away, danger was lurking.
The lady in black had not forgotten about Mariah. She used all of the resources at her disposal to track down the runaway girl, but every search ended in a dead end. Every day she would interrogate the other girls, trying to sniff out any lies and discover if Mariah had been helped to escape.
“You know, that silly girl is probably dead by now. Why make yourself crazy searching for her around the whole world?” The orphanage priest posed this question one day as they strolled through the decaying garden outside of the orphanage. Ravens screeched overhead and dead flowers lay scattered across the cracked pathway.
“No, a body would have been found! She’s out there, Arthur, I just know she is. Someone must have helped her escape. These girls are too dim-witted, too weak, to plan an escape on their own. Someone must have guided her.”
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 794)
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