| Jolly Solly |

Sweet Solution

“Eli’s assistant is bringing Tuki here soon. You don’t mind if the parrot stays for a few days, do you, Mother?”

Jolly Solly’s mother’s apple pies were famous. Every few weeks she would pull out her trusty mixing bowl and get to work on a new batch.

One pie would go to Mr. Krankowitz. He always complained it wasn’t as good as his mother’s apple pies. Then he would finish it down to the last crumb.

A pile of pies would go to the Children’s Home.

The rest went to anyone needing to be cheered up.

Jolly Solly helped his mother by peeling the apples, lightning fast. As soon as he was done, though, she’d send him out of the kitchen. Otherwise, he’d start juggling the peeler, corer, and anything else.

“Go off on one of your mitzvah errands,” she would say, smiling.

Jolly Solly would walk off grinning, whistling a merry tune.

One fine afternoon, it was time for another baking session. Jolly Solly got to work peeling apples at top speed.

He looked at his watch.

“Eli’s assistant is bringing Tuki here soon. You don’t mind if the parrot stays for a few days, do you, Mother?”

“Of course not,” she replied. She took sugar and oil out of the cabinet. “He’s nice company… not like that dreadful monkey with his tricks.”

Soon there was a knock at the door. Jolly Solly brought a cage into the kitchen. Tuki looked around with bright, beady eyes.

“Looks like Mother’s gone upstairs to rest,” murmured the clown. “I’ll put your cage on the windowsill, Tuki. Later you can watch her finish making the pies.”

Tuki decided all the baking supplies on the counter meant somebody’s birthday must be coming up. He began singing a screechy Happy Birthday.

“You go on singing,” said the clown, as he left the room.

Tuki suddenly changed his tune.

“Haman! Bang bang!” he screeched at the top of his voice.

“What’s up?” called Jolly Solly. “It’s not Purim today.” He returned to the kitchen. Tuki was flapping his wings agitatedly, and Jolly Solly calmed him down.

A while later Mother came back to continue baking.

She looked around the kitchen, puzzled.

“Where’s the sugar?” she muttered. “I left a whole bag

on the counter. It was my last bag, too. One would think it grew legs and walked off. Dear me. I need the sugar for my apple pies.”

Tuki, hearing talk of food, began another of his favorite songs:

“Half a pound of tuppenny rice,

Half a pound of treacle,

Mix it up and make it nice,

Pop goes the weasel!”

Mother glanced at the bird. “Afraid I can’t use rice or treacle in my pies, Tuki. It’s sugar I need. Let’s call Shloimele, and see if he can help.”

Jolly Solly’s mother was the only person in the world who called him Shloimele. He got into detective mode immediately.

“The sugar has to be somewhere. Tuki, any ideas?”

The parrot started flapping about again. “Bang bang! Haman!” he shrieked.

As Jolly Solly stared at him, understanding slowly dawned.

“I know what happened to the sugar,” he declared.

“What? Where?” exclaimed Mother.

But the clown had already rushed outside. Two minutes later he was back again, holding a bag of sugar.

“Thanks for the clue, Tuki!”

Mother stood there, greatly surprised.

“It was Manny up to his tricks again, Mother,” explained Jolly Solly. “He was outside in the van with Eli’s assistant. The assistant is fairly new, and brought him along for the ride. Manny somehow managed to get away from him. He sneaked into the kitchen and stole your sugar.”

“But how on earth did you work it out?”

“It was old Tuki, screeching ‘Haman!’ and ‘Bang bang!’ He does that when someone annoys him, like Manny when he’s up to his tricks. I figured the monkey must be somewhere nearby. Sure enough, he was. He tried to hide the sugar, but I found it.”

“Why, thank you!” declared Mother. “You saved my pies!”

“Pleasure!” grinned the clown, turning a quick somersault.

Tuki puffed out his chest, and added his two cents:

“Happy birthday!”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 896)

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