| Jolly Solly |

Orders Are Orders

What a disaster! They’d have to go all the way back to Main Street, where people chased you for no reason


ishel and Faivish, dears.” Mrs. Friedman addressed her sons. “I’m afraid the meat delivery hasn’t arrived. There was some mix-up with the order.”

“Um,” said Fishel. He wasn’t that interested.

“Hmm,” said Faivish.

“I need you to go pick it up from the butcher’s,” she said.

“I’m busy,” protested Fishel, as he was busy making faces at his brother.

“Me, too,” declared Faivish, as he was busy making faces back.

Mrs. Friedman was unmoved.

“Totty’s bringing guests this Shabbos, and I have to get started on the cooking. I can’t do it without the meat order.” She paused. “I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to tell your father you didn’t want to help?”

The troublesome two most definitely did not want their father to be told that. Grumpily, they got ready to go on their errand.

Mrs. Friedman took some money out of her purse.

“I’ll put the money in two envelopes, one for each of you.” That would avoid a fight. “Put the envelopes away safely, boys.”

Tucking the envelopes inside their jackets, they left. After all, the quicker they went, the quicker they’d be back. Then they’d be able to do more important stuff.

On Main Street, they passed Potter’s Pet Shop. There was always something interesting to see there. They slowed down to look in the window.

“There’s a parrot in a cage,” said Fishel. “Looks a bit like Tuki. Let’s see if this one can talk.”

He pressed his face against the window.

“Hello, parrot!” he squeaked.

“Silly sausage!” the parrot screamed back.

Fishel grinned.

Faivish was about to take his turn, when suddenly, a cat ran past.

“Hey, he must’ve escaped from the pet shop! Quick, let’s catch him!” cried Fishel.

“Yeah!” echoed Faivish.

The two took off after the cat. It led them a merry chase. Fishel bumped into a boy coming out of the library with a pile of books. The books toppled to the ground, but Fishel was too busy to notice. Faivish knocked into a stall at the fruit and vegetable shop and sent a box of potatoes flying, but he didn’t even realize.

They reached the cat. Fishel, making soothing noises, scooped it up in his arms.

A moment later he was yelling and looking at a long scratch. The furious cat made its escape.

“Yikes! Maybe Mr. Potter has a basket we can carry the cat in,” suggested Fishel.

“Let’s ask him.”

The boys rushed back to the pet store.

“We’re trying to catch your cat. Do you have a basket?”

“Yeah, to carry him in.”

Mr. Potter looked at them like they were crazy.

“I don’t know what you fellows are talking about. I don’t have a cat.”

“But we saw—”

“But it ran—”

Mr. Potter scowled.

“Is this some kind of trick? Because if it is, I’m calling the police!”

The brothers didn’t wait to explain. They made a hasty exit.

They passed an old lady outside, who shook her cane at them.

“There you are! I saw you chasing that poor cat! How dare you!”

The boy from the library heard the commotion. So did the fruit and vegetable seller. They moved toward the boys.

Fishel and Faivish fled in fright. When they finally turned into Sunny Lane, they stopped to catch their breath.

“We were only trying to help,” gasped Fishel.

“Exactly,” agreed Faivish breathlessly. He clutched his jacket, and it made a crinkling sound. What on earth was that?

Faivish turned pale.

He stared at his brother in dismay.

The envelopes! They’d forgotten all about them!

What a disaster! They’d have to go all the way back to Main Street, where people chased you for no reason.

Just then, Mrs. Friedman spotted them.

“There you are at last, boys.”

Fishel and Faivish shuffled their feet guiltily.

“I’m so sorry,” she continued. “I forgot the butcher was closing early today. I sent you all the way for nothing. Come inside and have some three-layer cake to cheer you up.”

Fishel’s conscience pricked him.

“Well, actually, we meant to go to the butcher’s—”

“But then we saw a parrot—” Faivish continued.

“And we tried catching the wrong cat—”

“And then a lady shook her cane—”

Mrs. Friedman was used to her sons’ imaginations. “Hmm,” she said, as she served the cake. “Here, have some. It’s delicious.”

It was.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 904)

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