| Jolly Solly |

On the Case

“My dollies! Don’t want them to disappear! And where’s my furry jacket and my Bingo game?!”

The airport was very busy, and the workers very tired.

“Madam, your suitcase is too heavy,” the check-in clerk said. He was speaking to a lady with a little girl. “You need to remove some items or pay a fee.”

The lady spread her hands helplessly. “But I checked the weight before I left home. It looked alright. And really, I don’t know what I can take out. Most of the items inside belong to my little girl, Sara.”

Sara gave the clerk a sweet, dimpled smile.

“It’s true. I’ve got my three best dollies in there, and my new Bingo game. Oh, and my new furry winter jacket.”

The clerk was unmoved. He tapped on his computer for a few moments. Then he said, “That will be $50 extra, madam.”

The lady paled.

“But I can’t… I don’t…” She opened the case and rummaged inside, looking for a solution.

Suddenly, there was a commotion nearby. Everybody seemed to be looking at the airport entrance. The children in the lines pointed excitedly.

“Look! A clown,” said a boy. “I wonder if he does tricks?”

“Look at his hat,” said another boy, impressed.

“He’s doing a somersault! What’s he gonna do with his bag? Hey, look at that! He’s walking on his hands, carrying his bag with his legs!”

An old lady with twinkling eyes was following behind the clown.

“Be careful, Shloimele,” she warned him. “There’s a freshly baked kokosh cake in that bag. It’s for your sick aunt, and I don’t want it crushed.”

The clown turned upright, ending up next to Sara. She giggled in delight.

“I’m Jolly Solly,” he introduced himself to the lady. “I’m on your flight. Seems you’re having some trouble with your suitcase. Can I help?”

“I don’t think you can,” sighed the lady. “My little girl Sara lost her father just a few weeks ago. She needs her dollies and favorite things with her as a comfort. I simply can’t leave them behind. But I can’t afford to pay the extra $50 they’re asking for. To top it all off, I can’t get the suitcase to close now.”

Indeed, items, including a furry jacket, were spilling over the side.


The lady stared in bewilderment.

“Wh-where’s the jacket gone?” she gasped.

“All taken care of, don’t worry,” replied the clown. “Anything else bulky inside?”

The lady pointed to the Bingo game.


“Done! If nothing else, you’ll be able to close the suitcase now.”

A crowd had gathered around the little group, watching with astonishment.

“How did he do that?”

“Where’s it gone? Poof! One minute it was there… and the next it was gone!”

“What’s he gonna do next? Bet he can’t make those dollies disappear!”

Suddenly, there came a cry.

“My dollies! Don’t want them to disappear! And where’s my furry jacket and my Bingo game?!”

Jolly Solly bent down to eye-level with the little girl.

“I’ve just… relocated them so your mommy can close the suitcase. That’s all. I can bring them back any time you like.”

Just then, a uniformed figure came marching over. It was a policeman. “Now then, what’s going on here? Move along, folks, you’re creating an obstruction.” Then he spotted Jolly Solly.

“I remember you!” he exclaimed. “You helped me catch that burglar a while back. He’s sitting in jail now, you know.”

The clown shrugged. “It was nothing,” he replied.

The policeman addressed the clown in a kinder tone. “I’m asking everyone to move back a bit for safety reasons. But you keep up your good work, Mr. Solly!”

A second official figure approached the crowd, wearing a grim expression. This time it was the airport manager. He looked around in surprise at the smiling people. What a change from the usual atmosphere. What was going on?

Jolly Solly pointed to the offending suitcase. He reached under his hat, pulling out a furry jacket and the Bingo game. “There’s been a slight problem with overweight,” he murmured.

The manager sized up the situation in a moment. He turned decisively to the check-in clerk.

“Let them through, and waive the charges on this one,” he instructed. He looked around again at all the happy faces. “Some things you can’t put a price on.”

“Like fresh kokosh cake,” added Jolly Solly’s mother.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 898)

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