| Jolly Solly |

The Missing Ticket

“Where can I keep this bothersome ticket?” muttered Mr. Krankowitz. “How annoying!”

MR.Krankowitz looked as grumpy as usual as he worked in his garden. He yelled at Fishel and Faivish as they whizzed past on their scooters. He was sure the noise disturbed his roses. He shooed away the neighbor’s cat. He had no time for animals that wandered in and out of other people’s gardens.

But secretly, he was feeling rather pleased. His ticket for the seniors’ outing to the beach had come in the mail. It was held every summer, and he couldn’t help looking forward to it.

The outings were to the seaside, with buses provided. Mr. Krankowitz always took his overcoat, hat, and scarf along. After all, summer or not, you never knew when the weather might turn nasty. He brought his walking stick along, too. He could manage perfectly well without it, but you never knew when you might meet a burglar.

The old man debated where to keep the ticket. He certainly didn’t want to lose it! Should he put it on the mantle above the fireplace? No, it might fall off and get lost. What about behind the coffee jar in the kitchen? No, it might get wet or dirty.

“Where can I keep this bothersome ticket?” muttered Mr. Krankowitz. “How annoying!”

Then he had an idea. He would put it in his waistcoat pocket! That way, it would be safe and sound until he needed it. What’s more, since he wore his waistcoat every day, he couldn’t possibly forget to take it with him!

Mr. Krankowitz felt very pleased with himself. He carefully tucked the ticket inside his waistcoat.

At last, the day of the outing arrived. The sun shone brightly overhead, but Mr. Krankowitz didn’t trust it. He put on his overcoat and hat, and wound his scarf around his neck. Clutching his walking stick, he got ready to leave the house. All he needed now was the ticket.

“Now, where did I put it?” he muttered to himself. “I know it was somewhere safe and sensible.”

He had a vague thought that he’d put it in his pocket. He patted his coat pockets, but both were empty. Oh, dear. Had he put it above the fireplace in the end? No, there was nothing there. What about behind the coffee jar? Nothing there either. He started pulling open drawers and closets, but the ticket was nowhere to be found.

The bus would be here soon, and Mr. Krankowitz started panicking. How could a ticket just vanish into thin air? It made no sense. There was only one explanation. A thief had stolen his precious ticket!

“Robbers! Thieves! Call the police!” he shouted at the top of his voice.

The Faigelbaums next door heard the yells. Mr. Faigelbaum hurried over to see what was wrong. Mrs. Faigelbaum followed behind with little Efraim, who insisted on bringing his favorite toy fire truck.

“What’s up, sir?” Mr. Faigelbaum asked urgently. “Are you all right? Did something happen?”

“It sure did!” shouted Mr. Krankowitz. “There are thieves and robbers about! Watch out! They’ll come steal your bird boxes next!”

Mr. Faigelbaum looked around the room. Nothing seemed to have been disturbed. All the silver was in its usual place on the sideboard.

“It’s my ticket! I’m supposed to be going to the beach today!” cried Mr. Krankowitz.

“Uh… would you like me to call the police?” asked Mr. Faigelbaum. He thought about the many times the old man had cried thief. Then he would remember where he’d put the missing item. If only Jolly Solly hadn’t gone away for a few days. The clown would’ve known just what to do!

Efraim chose this moment to play the siren on his fire truck. Mr. Krankowitz waved his stick in annoyance. His coat flew open, revealing his waistcoat pocket. There, clearly visible, was the missing ticket!

The old man pulled it out in delight. Just then there was a honking outside, and the bus pulled up.

“Got to go now,” Mr. Krankowitz declared. He ushered the Faigelbaums out of the door.

Mr. Faigelbaum looked at his wife, and shrugged.

“Looks like everything’s okay after all, with a little help from Efraim,” he said. Then he grinned. “Just call us the Jolly Faigelbaums!”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 914)

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