| Jolly Solly |

Keyed Up

“Oh, dear! Another item gets the ‘Chananya treatment,’” groaned Naftali


oishy and Miriam loved talking to their big sister Bracha on the phone. Bracha lived in Yerushalayim with her husband, Naftali, and little boy, Chananya. The Morrises missed them terribly.

The children enjoyed hearing about Chananya. He was busy all day doing important stuff like emptying pot drawers and cabinets.

At least two or three times during each phone call, Bracha would say, “Chananya, no! Don’t pull the tablecloth!” or “Chananya, no! Don’t touch Daddy’s papers!”

Quiet would reign for two minutes. Then it was, “Chananya! No!” all over again.

Bracha ordered childproof locks for the kitchen cabinets. A peaceful week followed. Chananya played with toy cars instead of pots and pans.

But then Chananya discovered telephones. It started with a toy cell phone sent by Mrs Morris. Chananya walked around with it, pretending to jabber away. But then one day Naftali couldn’t find his real cell phone. He discovered that Chananya had somehow grabbed it. It was smeared with ketchup, and Naftali couldn’t get it to work.

“Oh, dear! Another item gets the ‘Chananya treatment,’” groaned Naftali.

“Nanya,” echoed the little boy. He was sure Daddy was giving him a compliment. He reached out for the phone. “More!” he demanded, but Naftali whisked it away.

“No can do, young man. It’s not safe for you. Besides, I’m taking it to get repaired.”

Unfortunately, the cell phone could not be repaired. Naftali had to buy a new one. He made sure to keep it safely out of reach after that.

A week later, Bracha and Naftali were visiting their local grocery store. Chananya sat in his stroller, excited about going “Bye bye.” As they entered the store, Chananya’s eyes grew wide. So many interesting things! He reached out for a bag of gummy bears.

“No, Chananya!” said Naftali.

Bracha looked for something to distract the little boy. “Here, hold this instead,” she said. She pulled her keys from her purse.

The little boy was pleased. He jiggled the keys. His relieved parents wheeled the stroller over to the freezer aisle, looking for ice cream.

Suddenly, Chananya threw the keys, giggling. Clang! They went under a freezer. Chananya clapped.

Bracha and Naftali stopped in their tracks.

“My keys!” cried Bracha.

Naftali peered under the freezer. “Oh no!, I can’t even see them. We’d better call over the manager.”

The manager came quickly. He frowned when he heard what had happened.

“Hmm. Not sure how to get them out, to be honest,” he said. “I can’t move the freezer when it’s full like this.”

“But, what are we going to do?” Bracha said. “It’s the keys to our house. How will we get in?

“I’m sorry,” shrugged the manager. “Maybe call a locksmith to change your locks?”

The manager went back to his office. Bracha and Naftali looked at each other in dismay. Change their locks? That would cost a fortune!

“I have an idea!” Naftali said. “Bracha, why don’t you call that clown fellow who lives on your parents’ street? Solly Jolly or something like that? Didn’t you tell me he solves people’s problems? Maybe he can solve ours.”

Bracha was doubtful. Jolly Solly was far away. What could he possibly do? But it didn’t hurt to try.

Jolly Solly was concerned to hear about Bracha and Naftali’s problem. He thought quickly.

“I know just what you need. It’s a special tool called a telescopic magnetic pickup tool,” he said. “If your key’s the right type of metal, it should do the trick. I know where you can get it, too. Go to Heshy’s Hardware in the city center. Heshy’s a good friend of mine. He’ll tell you how to use it.”

It took a while to get the tool, but guess what? It worked like a charm! Naftali followed Heshy’s instructions, and in a flash, there were the keys!

Naftali passed the keys to Bracha, who clutched them tightly.

Chananya had enjoyed the whole drama. He reached his hand out for the rescued keys.

“More!” he said.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 932)

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