Happy Birthday Rifka,
It has been getting dark so late. Thought Rifka, a beautiful young girl, with a sparkle in her eye. In the Springtime as the days grew longer, it meant that Rifka had more time to play with her friends outdoors. Today was a beautiful day, and she was just taking a walk with her friends. She felt happy because her birthday was in a few days, and she felt that this year, something special was going to happen. Last year her Mom and Dad took her and her friends to that pizza place, with all the games. She danced for hours. This year was going to be even more special, although she could not explain why she felt this way.
“Hey, wanna walk down by the brook, It would be real pretty this time of day, maybe we could even see some of the tiny fish” Rifka and her friends all agreed, The brook was now flowing with the melting snows from the hills. The girls would spend summer days by the brook, watching the frogs and dragon flies. The brook was ten feet wide, and just a few feet deep at the deepest part down here in the meadow. You could wade across it. Now in the springtime, the waters were still icy cold.
“I dare you to cross it” Said Linda,
“Yeah, it will be good luck if you can cross the stones without slipping” Agreed her friends. Rifka was feeling brave, and took the challenge. She slipped off her good shoes and socks. The grass on the bank was wet and a little slippery. There were five stones that rose above the swirling waters. The were placed about two feet apart, and were kind of flat, Rifka had crossed the Brook many times before, it was no big deal.
“The First stone” Rifka announced, as she stepped out on to it. The rock was cold under her feet.
“The Next stone” She announced bravely as her friends watched. When she reached the fourth rock, something happened, A dragonfly zipped around her legs, she lifted her leg, and started to reach for the last stone, when she lost her balance,
She splashed in the shallow water, it was only up to her ankle, but her fall landed her on her knee, her hands were on the rocky bottom, holding her up.
“Aww” Her friends said, although one was laughing.
“Sorry” Said Ann, “You looked funny. Her friends ran across the shallow brook to help Rifka up, before they got to her, she had already seen the shiny white rock, that looked like a marble, she scooped it up, and before any of her friends could see, she put it in her pocket.
Examining the pretty rock, at home, later that evening, she was very happy with her find. It was perfectly round, no nicks or scratches, it looked like it could be clear, but the insides revealed a lacy like crystal growth. Rifka swore that it felt warm in her hand. And when the lights were just turned out, it seemed to glow with a cool blue white glow of its own.
It was Saturday and Rifka had the morning to herself, Her Mom had made her favorite breakfast, and her younger brother had been good about keeping out of
Rifka’s hair. There was some shopping to be done, Her Mom was going to take some things back to the Mall, and agreed to take Rifka and two of her friends. There they would hang around the shops. Rifka looked again at the pretty rock she found, she held it in her palm, closing her fingers around it,
“What would you like Rifka?” Rifka turned around, almost startled, who said that?, She looked at the glowing marble in her hand. She closed her eyes, It would be nice to have a hundred dollars spending money” She laughed to herself, Her Mom would never in a hundred years give her so much money. She polished off the marble before putting it back in her upper drawer.
“Now you girls wait out here, and I will meet you in about an hour, we will have lunch at the Ice cream place, Now don’t get in any trouble, and be alert to strangers” Rifka rolled her eyes,
“Yes Mom” Rifka agreed.
“Oh, and by the way” Said her Mom, opening her purse, “Here is a little spending money” She pulled out a bill from her wallet, it was a Ten dollar bill. Rifka took it and smiled.
The girls had a wonderful time, they shopped and looked at all the new accessories, they talked about the new styles, the latest music, and one of their favorite topics, the boys at school, and who was going out with whom. They were so busy talking that they hardly noticed the commotion going on in the main court, crowds were gathering around a funny looking fellow, People thought he was an entertainer as a few of his helpers propped up a sign behind him, It read, “Toby the wishgranter” The fellow in the flamboyant jacket was talking to the audience that was forming. He seemed to be talking nonsense.
“And so good people, we are getting wishes granted every day, it’s a magic in the air, do you not feel it?” Rifka was embarrassed as the man seemed to single her out, from the back of the crowd. “Little girl, over there” Oh no, he was looking directly at her and worse, he was walking to her.
“Take this as an example people, we make wishes all the time, and forget what we wished for, but the wishmaster remembers” He slid his hand into a pocket and withdrew an envelope. It was sealed and plain. He handed it to Rifka, and whispered to her, “Happy Birthday” Then he turned his back and went back to the front of the crowd, still talking.
“What was that?” Asked her friends. Rifka shook her head, she looked at the envelope he had given her. There was a piece of paper in it. And a bill. Rifka gasped. It was a hundred dollar bill. She spun around, she had to give it back, but the man was nowhere to be seen, and the crowd had dispersed. The note with the money had just a few words written, it read, “The Marble, Monday morning by the brook, enjoy it for your birthday. do not abuse it.” Her friends gathered around, looked at the note, and shook their heads, Rifka did not tell them about the marble.