Droozy wanted to celebrate her thirteenth birthday with a party. She had never had a birthday party and many of the other children that she knew did. They seemed to have so much fun and got so many nice presents. She thought and thought about it. She knew that her parents couldn’t do it for her. They were refugees and had hardly enough money to feed the family.

Droozy decided to take matters into her own hands. She had learned somewhere that you shouldn’t depend on others and what you do for yourself is done. So, she set about planning her big day. She asked the “Schammes” in the synagogue if he would let her use the big social hall on a Sunday afternoon, the week of her birthday. She also decided on the menu. She saved her money from selling bottles and babysitting and bought the ingredients for a cake. She also decided to have nuts. She went to the corner grocery store and found that the nuts were very expensive, even the peanuts. She then spotted some small nuts that looked like acorns which were cheap. She bought some of those and some hard candy. With her purchases under her arm she went home with a bag of party ingredients.

When her Mom was out of the kitchen, Droozy got busy and baked. She carefully followed a recipe that her mother had given her. It was for chocolate cake. She was certain that all the kids would like chocolate cake. She was busy for hours getting everything together. She had much cleaning up to do after baking since everything seemed full of flour, sugar, and a chocolate paste, made from cocoa. Even the floor was dirty. Droozy found her shoes sticking to the floor as she walked. She had to wash the floor with soap and water. She had a hard time because she knew she had to be careful not to waste too much soap. The baking pans were hard to clean and she had to do much rubbing and scrubbing. All the time she was busy doing all this hard work she thought of the wonderful presents she would get from her guests.

She was afraid to ask the children to come, so sister Fanny did most of the inviting for her. The Abners had no telephone, so Fanny had to do it in person. She seemed so brave! Droozy was worried that the children would refuse her and would not want to attend her party.

The big day came. Droozy went to the Temple early and carried the cake, the candy and the nuts. She also had a dairy wagon stop by to deliver some slices of ice cream to add to the celebration.

One after the other of the children came, boys and girls the same age as Droozy. They brought her gifts wrapped up in pretty colorful paper, ribbons and bows. Droozy could hardly wait to open them. She was polite, however, because she had been taught not to show she was too eager to want gifts.

Soon after their arrival everyone sat down at large tables and ate. The cake was very sweet and the ice cream slices had melted a little, but most of the children seemed to enjoy the ice cream, anyway. After that the presents were opened and the children admired each gift and said good things about some and unkind things about others. The boys were especially loud and began to run around the hall punching one another, laughing and pulling the girls’ hair. Some wanted to play “spin the bottle” but Droozy didn’t know what that was.

The acorn nuts could not be opened. Droozy did not bring a nut cracker, but even if she had, the nuts were impossible to crack. It didn’t take long before the boys were throwing those hard nuts at each other. One of them missed and hit Fanny in the eye. She was so angry that she screamed, ran over to where the birthday child, her poor sister, was standing, and slapped her hard. Poor Droozy! She was so embarrassed, she fought back the tears. She didn’t want to be there any more, she wanted to go home, she wanted no presents and no more birthday party, not now, nor ever again!

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