Fishel and Faivish forgot their fight as they stared at the shoes
crowd of children stood around Jolly Solly’s open-top car. The clown was not visible except for a pair of feet, wearing large clown shoes. These shoes were sticking out from underneath the car. He was fixing something.
“Jolly Solly! What’s wrong with your car?” asked Miriam Morris. She tried to look under the car. “Is it broken?”
“I bet it’s the exhaust pipe,” declared Fishel.
“No, it’s not. I bet it’s the… the… the blowbobble pipe,” added Faivish.
“There’s no such part!”
The two faced each other, fists up.
Just then, there was a curious tapping sound on the sidewalk. Everyone turned to look. To their shock, there was a pair of empty shoes tap-tapping around in a circle. They looked like they were dancing! It must be one of Jolly Solly’s tricks!
Fishel and Faivish forgot their fight as they stared at the shoes. They were too busy trying to figure out how the trick worked. A few minutes later, Jolly Solly slid out from under the car. He grinned at the children.
“How did you do that?” asked Moishy. He pointed at the shoes, which were now still.
“Aha! You don’t expect me to give all my tricks away, do you?” said Jolly Solly. His eyebrows went up and down comically.
“Why were you under the car? Were you fixing your exhaust pipe?” asked Fishel. He really wanted to be proven right.
“Blowbobble!” said Faivish.
“Actually, I was installing something called a converter. It makes the car greener.”
“Greener? But your car’s yellow, not green!” said Miriam.
“Jolly Solly means it makes the car engine run more cleanly. That way nasty gases don’t escape into the air,” said Moishy.
“Oh,” said Miriam, her eyes big and wide.
Suddenly, a motorcycle turned into Sunny Lane.
Moishy turned around.
“It’s Tully from the Toy Shop,” he said. “I wonder what happened to his van.”
Moishy and Miriam watched Jolly Solly greet Tully happily. But Tully barely answered. Something was clearly wrong.
“My van’s out of action. That means no deliveries. And I have a long list of customers waiting for their orders.” Tully sighed.
“What happened to the van?” asked the clown.
“Some rotten thieves stole the converter. The van’s in the garage now. It will take ages to get a new converter. That’s aside from the cost.”
“Another one stolen!” said Jolly Solly. He looked very upset. “The police told me there’s a gang of thieves around, stealing converters. Converters are worth a lot of money, you see, because of the precious metals inside. These crooks don’t care about the harm they cause the car owners. The police have been trying to catch them for a long time.”
“Beasts!” declared Tully.
“Would you like me to help you with deliveries in the meantime?” asked the clown. “And I’ll tell you about my plan to catch the thieves.”
Just then, Leah Morris stuck her head out the window. “There you are, Moishy and Miriam. Come inside, please? Mommy’s looking for you.”
They went inside. But they were really curious about Jolly Solly’s plan. How would he catch those sneaky thieves?
Later, Miriam was in bed, half asleep, and Moishy was reading. Suddenly, there was a loud noise from outside. Moishy and Miriam ran to the window.
What a sight met their eyes! Jolly Solly’s car was rocking up and down, and making strange sputtering noises. Yet there was nobody in it! It gave a loud fizzle and pop, and lurched forward. Two men were crouching nearby in the shadows. They dropped their tools and ran for their lives… straight into the arms of the police!
The policemen immediately slapped handcuffs on the shocked thieves. Jolly Solly watched as they were put in the back of a police car.
“Good job, Mr. Solly,” said the senior officer. “Your plan worked brilliantly. Looks like the end of the road for this band of thieves.”
The police car drove off. Miriam got back into bed.
“Good! Now those robbers can’t steal any more calculators,” she said sleepily.
“You mean converters,” said Moishy.
But Miriam was fast asleep.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 916)
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