Channuka (was - "by lot")

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Mon Dec 10 08:48:02 EST 2001


Count me in.  Levity is always welcome in my world.

> So far that's a 2 - 0 majority in favor
>
> Shoshanna
>

Now 4 - 0 in favor, I can't hold myself back anymore.

I'll try to find one a day, today is the first day of Channuka

Chag Sameach everybody:



JEROME COOPERSMITH'S
A CHANUKAH FABLE FOR CHRISTMAS
as narrated by Stan Martin

'Twas the night before Christmas
And down on my block
Every window was glowing
With five-and-ten stock.

Every window but mine,
Which was natural and right.
They don't make colored light bulbs
For Chanukah night.

Mama said, "Better off."
Papa said, "Lucky boy."
But I knew in my heart
I was missing some joy.

It wasn't the pine trees
That shone in the dark.
There were plenty of pine trees
In Mosholu Park.

And it wasn't the stockings
They hung out for loot,
'Cause we got presents too.
(Mine were raisins and fruit.)

  From just one thing alone
Was I soft in the head.
On our Chanukah evening --
No fat man in red.

Now I know he's not real,
In the Bronx we get smart.
But I'll tell you a secret
Deep down in my heart.

When I'm lying in bed
And my prayers are all through,
I wish I had somebody
Not real like that too.

Now it must be explained
I was wakeful and keen
When I heard a strange noise
Like a malted machine.

I ran up to the window,
Pushed open the drapes,
All I saw was the Concourse
And fire escapes.

Then I looked up above --
And if this is a lie,
May I live till a hundred and twenty
And die.

It was whirling and twirling
Around, but in place.
Not a saucer so much
As a draydle in space!

Now a draydle's a toy,
Just a small spinning jack.
But this one could have spun
To Alaska and back!

Up on top was a mast --
You could see it from far --
And on top of the mast
Was a six-pointed star.

And right under the star
Was a big husky guy
With a brown soldier hat
And a patch on his eye.

Though I'm brave, still I prayed
To the Holy of Holies
The way I was taught
By dear Rabbi Margolies.

Then I heard a soft voice
Saying, "Nothing to worry."
I looked up , and he said,
"Happy Chanukah, Murray."

Now I saw he was old,
I would say around thirty
"There's the chimney!" I yelled.
He said - "What - I should get dirty?"

"Besides, there is one thing
You really should know:
You don't have a fireplace.
Come, we must go."

"We?" It came out
Like a song in my throat.
He said, "Jump on the draydle,
But first take a coat."

I grabbed my alpaca
And leaped to his side
And prepared for my very first
Draydle-top ride.

Around and around
Did we spin in the dark.
It was just like the Cyclone
In Rockaway Park.

Then the sky became lighter;
My friend pointed down.
Rushing past was a city,
A country, a town.

Everywhere on the earth
It was wonderfully clear
That each man had a holiday
This time of year.

Some with bells, some with candles
And dragons and masks.
Some with fireworks, trumpets,
Pagodas and flasks.

Some with rockers and songs,
Some with drums and with flame,
And the wonderful thing was --
No two were the same.

"That's what makes the world good,"
Said my friend with the patch.
"Who would ask for a garden
where flowers all match?"

Then he turned up a dial,
And the spinning got faster.
I prayed there would not be
A draydle disaster.

A whirring of sound
And a flashing of lights.
When it stopped we were back
Over Mosholu Heights.

"You are home," said my friend,
"We have come very far.
Now to sleep."  But I cried,
"I don't know who you are!"

My friend smiled as he pushed me
Back onto my cot.
And he said very gently,
"A stranger I'm not."

Then he turned the dial sharply
And climbed like a bird,
Till he disappeared near
Loew's 183rd.

The next morning I woke
To the hissing of steam.
What had happened at night
Seemed a comical dream.

Giant draydle?  A soldier?
A ride through the air?
Then I noticed my alpaca coat
On a chair.

I dressed very quickly,
Ran down to the street,
Made a snowball, and jumped
About seventeen feet.

It was Christmas today,
And by me that was fine.
'Cause the holiday season
Now also was mine.





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