| Jolly Solly |

Shop Till You Drop

“What a dreadful racket!” he complained. “There’s no need to break the door down”


he weather was freezing, and the sidewalks on Sunny Lane were icy. Mr. Krankowitz, who had a great fear of falling, declared he was staying indoors until the cold weather ended. Seeing there was no sign of that happening any time soon, the neighbors kindly offered to do his shopping.

The Morrises went first. Mrs. Morris bought a fresh loaf of bread for the old man as requested, and sent Moishy to take it over. Moishy knew Mr. Krankowitz was hard of hearing, so he knocked loudly. Rap, rap, rap!

The door flew open, and Mr. Krankowitz stood there, scowling.

“What a dreadful racket!” he complained. “There’s no need to break the door down.”

He took the bag from Moishy without so much as a thank-you. Moishy shrugged as he headed home. A mitzvah was a mitzvah, wasn’t it? But he made sure to tell his mother that whoever went next should knock gently.

Next up were the Friedmans. Fishel and Faivish were sent to buy kippers. They found the fish shop fascinating, as there were so many different shapes and sizes of fish. They drove the fishmonger crazy with their questions, until Fishel suddenly looked at his watch and gasped.

“Yikes! It’s late. We’d better hurry.”

As they went slipping and sliding up the path to Mr. Krankowitz’s house with the kippers, Fishel accidentally skidded into Faivish, sending him crashing into the front door.

“What do you think you’re doing, pushing me like that?” yelled Faivish.

“I didn’t push you!”



Just then, the door was flung open. A furious Mr. Krankowitz stood there. “How dare you bang on the door so loudly?” he shouted. “I told whoever came yesterday to knock gently. Be off with you, before I complain to your father!”

He grabbed the kippers and shut the door in their faces, before they could say a word.

The next day, it was the Rabinowitzes’ turn. Raffi bought a pint of milk for the old man. He took it over, accompanied by his little brother, Shimmy. Shimmy was clutching his favorite big teddy. Raffi made sure to knock gently.

“Here’s your milk,” he announced brightly, as the door opened. The old man reached out for it, then spied the teddy bear.

He glared at Shimmy. “What did you bring that oversized object into my front garden for? Make sure it doesn’t knock into my rose bushes. Bah!”

The door slammed shut. Raffi led a frightened Shimmy home, trying to soothe him. Suddenly, a voice hailed them.

“Yoo hoo! What’s up?”

It was Jolly Solly, coming toward them.

“Mr. Krank shouted at me,” sniffled Shimmy. “He’s a meanie.”

“Shhh,” Raffi murmured soothingly.

Jolly Solly reached behind the upset little boy’s ear, and pulled something out.

“Why, look at that!” he exclaimed. “A crackle-popper!” He handed the colorful candy to Shimmy. “Let’s see if there’s one behind Raffi’s ear, too.”

There was. The clown removed it with an expression of such surprise that Shimmy couldn’t help chuckling.

“Glad you’ve cheered up,” said Jolly Solly. “Now, don’t take things to heart, young fellow. Mr. Krankowitz doesn’t mean to shout at people. He’s had a hard life, you see, and it’s affected him.” The clown looked thoughtful. “We’ll have to think of another solution to the shopping issue.”

The next day, the neighbors got a message that no more shopping was needed for Mr. Krankowitz. They were all secretly relieved, while wondering what Jolly Solly had in mind.

Fishel and Faivish were looking out of their windows when they spotted a strange sight. A small, lightweight shopping cart was rolling along the sidewalk, seemingly by itself! They looked again.

“Oh my!, look! Tuki’s pulling it, with a rope!”

“In his beak!”

The troublesome two watched in amazement as the parrot pulled the cart up Mr. Krankowitz’s path and tapped on the door. The old man opened up, and saw a cart with a packet of crackers in. He didn’t notice Tuki at all.

He removed the crackers, assuming they’d been left there by one of the neighbors. Finally! His shopping delivered, without any loud banging on the door or annoying teddies!

As soon as Mr. Krankowitz closed the door, Tuki pulled the cart proudly back to Jolly Solly.

“Well done, Tuki,” observed the clown fondly. “How do you like being Mr. Krankowitz’s personal shopper?”

Tuki puffed out his chest: “Shop-shop-shop,” he declared. “Pop-pop-pop. POP goes the weasel!”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 944)

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