Droozy sat on a large cardboard box in Belgium waiting for her mother to return from an errand. She saw children playing, moving their jaws up and down in a rhythmic motion. She looked long and hard and couldn’t understand why they did not keep their mouths still. They seemed to be in constant motion.

             One young girl put her finger in her mouth and pulled out a long rubbery thing which stretched and stretched. A little boy blew pink bubbles out of his lips. They looked like small balloons and made a popping sound each time a new bubble came out. What a strange sight this was, something Droozy had not seen before. That sticky stuff never seemed to disappear. It looked like endless food which was never swallowed.

           It was the first time that she came in contact with chewing gum. One of the children pulled out a package of five small sticks of the flat greyish material and offered it. Droozy put it in her mouth and was about to swallow it when she realized that it felt like modeling clay with sugar on it. It did have a delightful flavor -  like peppermint. Droozy soon learned to imitate the other children and to chew joyfully on this chewing clay. She pulled it in and out of her mouth, blew into it but no bubble would come. Finally she made a long string from her mouth and pulled the sticky stuff onto her forehead. Suddenly she realized it was stuck in her hair and she could not seem to retrieve it. She pulled and scraped but to no avail. She finally pulled out a few of her curls in order to be rid of that sticky stuff. It took a long time before Droozy realized that gum is for chewing, to be kept in the mouth.

Later that day the family Abner were invited to a Sabbath dinner with a number of other refugees, since it was Friday eve. The dinner was held in a huge upstairs board room which was part of a Jewish organization. Many rows of large tables were covered with gleaming white tablecloths; each had a pair of candlesticks on it which threw a festive glow throughout. The aroma of chicken soup permeated the building. Droozy couldn’t wait until the blessing of the candles was over, to taste of the delicious meal. A man with a long beard made the “Kiddush”. His deep baritone voice resonated in the room and reminded Droozy of Papa and of home. A tear of joy ran down her cheeks as she thought back of happy days with the whole family together. After the soup the crispy brown chicken was served. What a delight! It had been such a long time since they had enjoyed a good meal. The “Challahs” were fresh and nothing could beat the delicious apple cake that melted in Droozy’s mouth. At the end of the meal “Zemiros” were sung, familiar Hebrew songs in which those many people sitting in that wonderful room joined in. It had been the best Sabbath that Droozy had spent in many months.

That night Droozy dreamed of her beloved Papa. She saw him standing at the head of the table, saying the “Kiddush”, making the blessing over the bread and wine and nodding his approval as he looked at Mama and his three children.  

Droozy had spent a delightful few days in Belgium enjoying the hospitality of her fellow Jews, who were only too happy to help her family at this time of stress and anguish. She would never forget the many kindnesses that were shown her, and she would always remember that wonderful “Schabbes” meal with all of it’s trimmings. It had been truly a Belgian holiday!  

Pork Dumplings
Please Don't Eat the Goldfish
Pretty Shoes
Blueberry Cake
The Garden
The Red Rabbit
The Lost Bathing Tickets
What Shall I Do?  The Double Message
Pieces of Gold
Aromas of the Sabbath
The Birth of a Brother
Green Apples
Herr Kübler
The Broken Leg
Boarding School
The American Calendar
Suse Puppe
Shirley Temple Eyes
Kristallnacht Nov. 9, 10, 11
Aunt (Tante) Mathilde
Ice Skates
The Cologne Cathedral
The Escape
A Belgian Holiday
Gas Balloons and the S. S. Washington
The Statue
A Bad Dream
A Pencil Thief
The West Virginia Hills
Ice Cream, Grieben and Baked Spaghetti
The Gypsy’s Song
Venetian Blinds
The Deaf One
Dimmed Lights
Norma Mae
The Spelling Bee
Run, Thief, Run!
The Candy Store
The Birthday Party
Deep, Shallow Waters
Red Riding Hood
Small Mama
Droozy In Love
Eskimo Pies
Apple Picking Time
Working Days
Easter Baskets
Blind Joe
Lessons Learned From Parents
About the Author