Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 41 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters.
Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications.
Purim was behind them, and Elisheva and her entire household of three small rooms flew into a frenzy of organizing and packing. The little ones kept competing as to who would get hold of the biggest boxes from the grocery or nearby supermarket. But Elisheva threw out at least a third of the cartons they brought home, because of all types of unidentifiable crumbs in them.
“Ima wants everything to be clean for Pesach, not just plain clean!” Rikki and Devorah tried to explain to the kids. But their explanations fell on deaf ears. It was a fun activity for the boys: to search for the boxes, ask permission from the proprietors to take them, and then drag them home—just to donate most of them to the storage room in Meir’s friend’s building. Meir’s friend Elchanan was organizing a huge bonfire for Lag B’Omer, and he’d already started collecting boxes and wooden boards for it.
Even Saba had already heard about the famous bonfire, and when Meir went to visit him, he rose slowly from his chair and, with the help of a broomstick, slowly nudged a large, folded cardboard box from under the bed.
“This was downstairs in the lobby,” he said to his grandson, who stared wide-eyed in delight. “I asked if I could keep it for you.”
“Thank you, Saba!” Meir hugged the carton as best he could; his arms hardly went around it. “Ima, can I go bring this over to Elchanan?”
“Wait, not this minute,” Elisheva said. She had just leaned back in her chair and was holding a steaming cup of tea, a bit of a break from the mess at home. It was just two days to Rosh Chodesh Nissan, and they hoped to move next week. Maybe it would have been better to wait until they could close off the unit for her father, instead of renovating while they lived there, but the temptation of moving before Pesach to a new, clean, very large home was overwhelming. And in any case, her father was not being very clear about his plans. It seemed like he would be happy to come live with them, but every time the subject came up, he kept saying, “We’ll see.”