| Jolly Solly |

Right as Rain

“I must get the animals to safety, before the water rises any further,” Eli said


li looked worried. The weather forecast said strong storms were coming. The animals were nervous. Gimpel the goat was curled up instead of prancing around. Manny the monkey rocked back and forth, head in his hands. Tuki the parrot was quiet.

Eli and his assistant, Izzy, went to all the animals. They tried to calm them down.

“They sense the storm coming,” said Eli.

“Yeah,” said Izzy. “Mr. Faigelbaum once told me animals have a sixth sense for extreme weather.”

“Looks like this storm will be extreme, all right,” said Eli.

That night, there were strong winds. Rain came pouring down. Eli went out to check on the animals.

Oh, dear! What a sight met his eyes. There was a flood! It had rained so hard, the drains couldn’t handle all the water. Now deep water swirled around the animal cages.

“I must get the animals to safety, before the water rises any further,” Eli said aloud. “But how will I do it? I need a boat. I need a crane. I need… I need Jolly Solly!

Within minutes, the clown was parking outside the animal center. He rushed inside, lugging a complicated-looking pump. Izzy ran over to help set it up. As soon as it started pumping out the floodwater, Jolly Solly and Eli hurried to help the animals.

First, they went to get Manny the monkey. Jolly Solly’s quick eyes spotted a rope stretching from the top of the monkey’s cage to a nearby barn. It had been left by the builders that put up the cage.

“Looks nice and strong,” he said.

Eli wanted to ask him why he was looking at the rope. But then Jolly Solly leaped up and grabbed the rope. He was testing its strength. It held his weight easily. As Eli watched, the clown ran lightly across the rope, like a tightrope! He reached the cage and unlatched it. Manny jumped straight into his arms.

Eli watched amazed as the clown carried Manny back across the rope, safe and dry.

Gimpel was next. Jolly Solly threw a hooked cable onto the fence of his enclosure. Before he could do anything else, Gimpel simply ran across the cable to safety, sure-footed as a mountain goat!

Jolly Solly and Eli grinned.

They were busy rescuing the animals. But someone else was hatching a nasty plot.

Mr. Ingleton the Inspector had heard about the flood. Aha! Just what he was waiting for. He would insist that Eli’s place be shut down now. And then he would make sure it didn’t open again.

The inspector rushed over to the mayor’s office. He asked for a closure order, to “protect the animals.” Then he dashed off to Eli’s place. He wanted to get there before Eli could rescue the animals.

There was no guard at the gate. Mr. Ingleton simply unlatched it and let himself in. He looked around for Eli… and stopped short in dismay.

There was a big dry barn, unaffected by the flood. Through the open door, he could see a goat and a monkey romping around happily. Other animals watched. And there was a machine in the background, pumping up the flood water! Grr!

A sudden screech made Mr. Ingleton jump.

“Haman! Bang-bang-bang!” It was Tuki, who had spotted the hated inspector.

Eli looked around in surprise. Why was Mr. Ingleton here? And why did he look even more sour than usual?

“Can I help you?” he asked politely.

“Uh – no, just came to check that everything is all right,” fibbed the inspector.  He crumpled up the closure order. Then he tore it into tiny pieces.

“Sure, we’re all right!” Eli grinned. “Right as rain!”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 918)

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