| Jolly Solly |

Special Delivery

"Your order’s being held up by some environmental inspector who turned up"

Chanukah was the busiest time of year at Tully’s Toy Shop. Jingle-jangle went the doorbell all day long.

Tully greeted everyone with a smile, but in truth he was worried. A big box of Chanukah goods still hadn’t arrived. He had ordered it months ago. He called the delivery company again.

“I really need the stuff,” pleaded Tully. “The supplier said it was sent weeks ago. Why is it taking so long to get here?

There was a long-suffering sigh from Bert.

“Look, there’s a backlog here. We don’t have enough drivers. We’ll definitely get it to you in a couple of weeks.”

“What! But it’s Chanukah, uh, a Jewish holiday. I need it now, not in two weeks!”

Tully sighed. He simply had to sort things out. Besides the money he would lose if the order came late, he couldn’t bear to disappoint his customers.

“How about I send one of my own people to pick up the stuff?” offered Tully.

“Dunno. I’ll check with my manager,” replied Bert. A few minutes later, he was back on the line. “Sorry, no can do. Your order’s being held up by some environmental inspector who turned up. Driving us crazy, he is.”

Alarm bells started ringing in Tully’s mind. Could this be Mr. Ingleton, who’d tried to get Eli’s Animal Place closed down? But what did an environmental inspector have to do with Chanukah goods? Tully only ordered goods that met the latest safety standards.

Just then, a merry whistling caught his attention. “Hello,” boomed a cheerful voice. “I’m here for some juggling balls.” It was Jolly Solly. He looked at Tully’s face. “Is everything all right, Tully?”

Tully smiled weakly at Jolly Solly. “Not really,” he sighed. “Why don’t we go into the back and talk… if you have time, that is?”

“Always have time for a friend,” replied the clown.

In no time at all, Jolly Solly was making rapid phone calls, trying to sort things out. He turned to Tully, looking grim.

“It is Mr. Ingleton,” he declared. “Your order includes milk chocolate coins. He claims he needs to make sure the milk comes from cows that meet all safety regulations. Ridiculous, of course, as the farms have their own inspectors.”

Tully groaned.

“But wait!

I have an idea.”

The clown’s idea was complicated, but there didn’t seem to be any other way. He would track down the safety certificates from the farm that supplied the milk. He would then take the certificates to the delivery company, and get Tully’s box released immediately.

The clown decided to take some companions on the long drive: Gimpel the goat, and Tuki the parrot. He borrowed Eli’s van for the trip. When they arrived, Jolly Solly hopped out. He looked at the piles of boxes everywhere. How would he know which was Tully’s?

“Gimpel! Chocolate!” he called. The goat, who had a keen sense of smell, took a deep sniff. Without hesitation he headed for a box at the far end. Sure enough, a label on it stated “Tully’s Toy Shop.”

“Good job, Gimpel!” exclaimed the clown. “Now, back into the van. I’ll go and find Bert.”

But oh, dear. As he headed toward the office, who should come out with Bert but Mr. Ingleton?

“All in order,” declared the clown, waving the certificates. “I’m here to collect the delivery for Tully’s Toy Shop.”

Mr. Ingleton scowled. “Excuse me, but this is most irregular. You turned up out of the blue. Why, it’ll take days to locate—”

“It’s all right; I know exactly where it is.”

“Well, so you claim, but —  I say, what’s that?”

Mr. Ingleton looked around suspiciously. There was a yapping sound. He disliked all animals, but worst of all, in his opinion, were small yappy dogs. Pop-pop-pop! Someone was setting off fireworks as well. This made him even more nervous; the fireworks were sure to unsettle the dog.

“I’ve — er — gotta leave now,” he said nervously. “Look, just take your box and go!”

Hiding a grin, Jolly Solly quickly grabbed the box and loaded it into the van. Then he zoomed off.

In the back, Tuki puffed his chest out proudly: “Yap-yap! Pop-pop-pop!”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 888)

Oops! We could not locate your form.