My daughter let me share in writing this children’s story
Just What the Doctor Ordered
Moti’s Purim Story
Leba Lieder and Israel Drazin
The Purim holiday was around the corner and kids and mice everywhere were preparing their costumes and getting ready to give Purim gifts. Moti, a special mouse, wondered if he could find a Purim gift to give to someone.
As much as it was a happy holiday for everyone else – it wasn’t a happy time for Moti. Every day, holiday and non-holiday, other mice made fun of Moti’s large ears and small tail. But when Purim came around, it was the worst day for him. Every mouse – or so it seemed – told him that he didn’t need a costume because he was already wearing one.
Every year, Moti would put on his Purim costume and every year the mice would make fun of him because his ears were so large. His ears would stick out of his mask, and no one could see his small tail sticking out of the costume. Just last year when he dressed up as an Indian, his mother couldn’t find enough feathers to cover his large ears. Since no one saw his tail, his brother and sister laughed at him and said, “Moti, you look just like a human.” Moti didn’t know what was so funny about that.
This year, Moti decided that whatever he would be, he would ignore the ridicule and have fun. This year he decided to be a doctor. He would roll his ears up and put on a large tail made out of string and he would try to look and feel like a regular mouse doctor.
It seemed easier than it was. Every time that he tried to roll his ears up, they would unravel. He asked his sister to help him by holding his ears while he tied them, but his sister was laughing so hard at him, that it didn’t work.
His mother made him a white doctor’s jacket and a stethoscope. The stethoscope was unfortunately too small and his mother could not find enough material to make it go over his ears.
Everyone else in the mouse hole in Israel where they lived was happy and everyone was trying on their costumes, but Moti couldn’t do it.
He walked quietly and sadly outside the family hole. He sat under the tree that was on the hill near his hole and enjoyed the view. He sat on the outskirts of Jerusalem and enjoyed the holy sites while trying to forget his problem.
He heard someone crying nearby and saw that it was little Dovi Goldstein, the small boy who lived in the house above his hole. Moti loved the Goldstein family and would often watch them and wish they would notice him and talk to him.
Little Dovi Goldstein was crying to his teddy bear and was telling the bear his problem.
Moti crawled quietly between the blades of grass to listen to Dovi. He could hear well because of his big ears.
Dovi was just 8 years old. He told the bear that he was born with one leg longer than the other – “but just by a bit,” he added. He walked with a small limp.
His friends at school made fun of him all the time because of his limp. He cried when he told the bear that even though his doctors said that they would be able to operate and fix his limp when he stopped growing, he would have to limp for a few more years. Moti thought that he saw a tear fall from the bear’s left eye. It may have been the bear’s tear or a tear that fell on the bear from Dovi.
Purim, Dovi told the bear, was the worst time, the worst holiday. His “friends” at school said many times that he didn’t need a costume. He could walk bent over and be a hunchback with the limp.
Dovi would smile and ignore their jokes, but Purim, he told the bear, made him very sad.
As Dovi cried to his teddy bear, Moti realized that he had to help.
Moti ran home and told his brother and sister about Dovi. They, as usual, were horrified that Moti would even think about helping a human being. So, as always, Moti had to solve this problem and help someone on his own.
Moti liked to listen to stories. He remembered his third cousin, Yankie, once telling him a story that he had heard about an old family member. That mouse lived in Egypt eight hundred years ago in a hole in a house owned by a family called Maimon. The father, whose name was Moshe ben Maimon, was a great doctor. People would come to him for advice every day. He was so popular and so busy and so exhausted by the end of the day that he had to advise patients while he was lying down.
One day, as Moti’s ancestor named Yankie watched Moshe ben Maimon listen to a patient, Moshe looked perplexed. The case was hard. His patient was a young woman who was unable to get married because she had a limp and the men in this Egyptian city did not want a wife with a limp. So she wanted the advice of the great doctor. While he was thinking, cousin Yankie pushed a piece of wool in front of the great Moshe ben Maimon and the wool gave him the idea to place something in the shoe of the lady to balance her limp.
Remembering the story, Moti decided to try the same thing for Dovi. He looked at all of the Purim costumes that were lying around the Goldstein’s house and he came up with an idea.
Moti took left over cork material from the costumes that the Goldsteins used, and cut and chewed and gnawed it in the shape of Dovi’s shoe. For mice are very good at chewing.
He found a glue container and pulled the container which was twice his size to the shoe. He jumped on the glue and kept jumping until some glue came out and landed on the shoe. What a sight that was!
Then he moved the cork and glued it to the shoe. The hard part was trying to turn the shoe over and having it stay there for a while to dry. He flapped his large ears back and forth over the shoe to make it dry faster. He worked so hard and did so much that he felt like a super mouse.
He hoped that the cork would add some height to the one shoe and would make both of Dovi’s feet the same length. He pushed the shoes to Dovi’s room.
In the morning Dovi had to go to school with his costume. Dovi sadly dressed in his cowboy outfit and when he put his shoes on and stood up, he realized that he was standing straight. When he looked down, he noticed that someone had glued something in the shoe. “Look at that,” he said to his teddy bear. “Is it a miracle?” The bear did not answer, but it seemed to smile.
Dovi ran to ask his family if they added the cork to his shoe. Everyone said that they did not do it. Moti watched and heard the Goldsteins say that the magical fixing of Dovi’s shoe reminded them of the story of the Shoemaker and the Elves, where elves came at night and repaired the shoemaker’s shoes. Moti watched as Dovi went to school with a smile on his face, just like the smile on the face of the bear.
Moti’s sister and brother put on their costumes very happily. And Moti put on his white doctor’s jacket and set the stethoscope that his mother made for him around his neck. Yes, his ears stuck out. But Moti was ok with that. Having large ears was not important, but helping others in need was what was important to him.
So Purim was fun for Dovi and for Moti. Moti was the happiest mouse doctor around with the biggest ears and the biggest smile. Moti had found a Purim gift to give Dovi. No one knew why he was smiling, not even Dovi, and he wasn’t going to tell them…. It was his secret, and now it is your secret too.