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The Unhappy Menorah

by Noa Silver, age 10, from Scotland

About 20 or so years ago there was a girl called Maya, who was about seven years old. It was almost her birthday, and she couldn't wait! Although her family was very poor, they had promised her a very special present. She lived with her mother, Miriam, her father, Jonatan, and her grandpa, David. It was a week till her birthday, but she still had to do her work around the house. For, as they were very poor, there was not enough money for Maya to go to school. Each day, after she had made her bed and had her orange juice, she would go into her grandpa's room, sit in the big comfy armchair and get taught her math, literature, and how to read and write. She stayed there for about an hour; then she went to get some water for her grandpa. After she'd done that, she would go outside to the well to get some water for her bath.

It was one day till her birthday, and Maya said that she could not possibly be any help in the house, so her mother said she could go out and play with her friends. Her friends were: Ilana, Seeroneet, Ben B., Ben Fl, and Maria. First they played tag, then hide and seek, then moms and dads. Then Maya said she had to go home for lunch, and they all split up. She had invited all her friends to her party, and everyone could come!

Her birthday finally came. All her friends came, and Maya ushered them outside, for she was ashamed of her poor house. She had not got her present from her family yet, but she did not mind--it was something to look forward to. Besides, she was having a party in the garden, and all her good friends were there. They talked and played. They talked about Chanukah, which was only two weeks away. Maya didn't know the blessings, as she didn't go to school, so the others taught them to her. Then it was time to eat. They had crackers and cheese and orange juice. The time came when all her friends, one by one, had to leave. Maya waved goodbye and went inside.

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