| Jr. Tales |

Latke, Anyone?

Pounding the sidewalk, Moshe pushed his feet as fast as they could go. Faster, he urged himself, his breath coming in ragged spurts, faster! Suddenly he saw the large yellow school bus start to edge away from the sidewalk.

“Wait!” he called, lunging forward.

But it was too late. To his dismay, the bus merged into traffic and began picking up speed. Moshe waved both his arms wildly, hoping someone would notice him. But a few minutes later, the bus had rounded a corner. Moshe was left behind.

The instructions had been crystal clear: His class was to meet in front of the school building at exactly 5:30. But Moshe had lost track of time.

He had come home from school, taken a snack, and gotten involved in a captivating mystery book. Every so often he would glance at the clock. Still had an hour, he’d thought, no worries! Then there were 30 minutes, and he dipped his head back into the pages. Finally, only 10 minutes remained. But he was at the very best part, he couldn’t stop now! Surely, they wouldn’t leave exactly on time….

But they did.

Head hanging low, Moshe shuffled home, imagining the others having a blast. The evening stretched out endlessly in front of him.

Passing Pinny’s Pizza, Moshe decided to head inside and buy a slice. At least he would have something to do for a few minutes. But when he opened the door, the scene that met him made his head spin. Pinny was frantically trying to run the store while holding his baby in the crook of his arm. It wasn’t working very well.

“Want me to hold him for you?” Moshe reached his arms out.

“That would be amazing,” Pinny said gratefully, handing Moshe the baby. “My wife is sick,” he explained, “so I’m babysitting. But it’s hard to run a restaurant this way!”

Moshe grinned at the baby and laughed when the baby showed him a toothy grin.

“You can put him in here,” Pinny gestured to an enclosed area filled with toys. “If you can keep an eye on him, I would be so grateful.”

“Sure.” Moshe shrugged. “I don’t have anything better to do,” he muttered under his breath.

A pleasant hour passed, and the baby fell asleep.

“Guess I’ll be going now,” Moshe said, and like a meteor, the trip he was missing flashed through his mind.

“How about pizza and fries on the house?” Pinny offered. “For being a great babysitter.”

“Awesome!” Moshe grinned.

“If you want to swing by Erev Chanukah, I’ll be making dozens of latkes. I can see you’re a great worker, and an extra set of hands would come in handy.”

“Okay,” Moshe agreed, his spirits lifting as he carried his packages to the door. The aroma of fresh pizza and fries tickled his nose, and his mouth started watering. If I had to miss the trip, he mused, at least something good came out of it.

The next day during recess, the class was buzzing about the great time they had on their trip.

“Sorry you couldn’t come,” Yossi said.

Moshe shrugged.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 737)


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