| Jolly Solly |

Winning Tickets

The amusement park canceled the booking. They have some health and safety issues

There was only one day left of the school’s Omer Marvelous Middos contest. Moishy Morris’s class was in the lead. They were eager to win the prize: a visit to an amusement park.

The only problem was the class above them. They were also set on winning the prize.

Five minutes before the deadline, Moishy’s class was trying to think of one more act of chesed. Then Rebbi dropped his pen. Everybody jumped up to help.

“I’ll move your desk, Rebbi,” said Pinchas.

“I’ll help,” said Meir.

“Boys.” Rebbi stopped them. “I already picked up my pen. There’s no need to move my desk. Please put it back, thanks.”

Pinchas’s and Meir’s faces fell.

“Nice going!” hissed one boy.

“Next time, think first,” growled another.

“Um, I’m sure they just meant to help,” said Moishy.

Rebbi banged on the table.

“Moishy, you clinched it!”

The boys looked at each other.

“Moishy Morris, your nice comment, and being dan l’chaf zechus, won your class another point. I believe this makes your class the winners!”

Boys high-fived each other in delight.

There was to be a grand assembly for the whole school. That’s when the winner would be announced. The boys gathered in the assembly hall. The principal, pleased with the contest, looked for the amusement park tickets. He had ordered them a month before. He was surprised that they weren’t where he’d left them. He buzzed his secretary.

“Have you seen the amusement park tickets? They were on my desk.”

There was a pause.

“I’m sorry, there was a problem, and I needed to check the tickets. They’re in front of me right now.”

“Can I have them back, please? I’m just about to go into the assembly to announce the winners.”

“There’s a problem,” said the secretary. “The amusement park canceled the booking. They have some health and safety issues. They needed to close for repairs until further notice.”

The principal groaned. Oh, no! What would he tell the boys? They’d worked so hard to win the prize!

The secretary had an idea.

“How about asking that clown fellow to come instead, the one the boys are crazy about?”

“The prize was an amusement park, not a clown.”

“Still, maybe he’ll have an idea as to what we can do?”

“Maybe,” said the principal. He looked at his watch. The boys were waiting in the assembly hall. He had to go share the bad news. He marched off grimly.

“Good afternoon, boys. I’m here to announce the winner of the contest,” he said. He was trying to sound upbeat. “As you’re aware, the prize was a trip to an amusement park. However, we cannot—”

Suddenly, there was noise at the back of the hall.

“Hey, it’s Jolly Solly!”

“Look at him somersaulting down the aisle!”

Jolly Solly landed upright next to the principal.

“The prize still is a trip to an amusement park,” he said. He reached under his hat and pulled out a bunch of tickets. “But as the boys cannot go to the amusement park, the amusement park will come to the boys!”

Jolly Solly threw the tickets up in the air, catching them neatly in one hand.

The principal was thrilled.

Moishy Morris had an idea. He whispered it to the boy next to him. It went from one classmate to another. If the amusement park is coming here, let’s ask the principal if the other classes can have a turn, too. After all, they also worked hard.

Pinchas got up and made the request. The principal looked taken aback. The rest of the school held its breath. Then he broke out in a smile. “Boys, I’m proud of you! That’s what Marvelous Middos is about!”

Jolly Solly whispered something in his ear.

“My friend Reb Shlomo tells me that the amusement park can stay for extra time,” continued the principal. “So, the winning class will have their full turn. Also, as there won’t be any travel time, the other classes can also take part.”

What applause broke out! Every boy clapped or stamped or thumped his neighbor’s back.

Have fun, boys!


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 912)

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