The Little Dreidel
An original story by Sylvia Rouss
It was the first night of Hanukkah. Arielle and Jake sang the blessings as their mother lit the first candle on the silver Menorah that stood on the dining table next to a large window.
“It’s so shiny!” exclaimed Arielle.
“I like how the candles make it sparkle,” added Jake.
“Daddy smiled, “It is beautiful.”
“Who’s hungry?” Mommy asked.
“We are!” Arielle and Jake shouted.
“Then let’s bring out the food!” she said.
The Menorah watched as everyone went into the kitchen. Suddenly it looked down and saw the brown wooden dreidel near its base.
“It’s Hanukkah, little dreidel. Why aren’t you spinning in celebration?”
“Just look at me,” replied the dreidel sadly. “I’m so plain. Each night you will be filled with bright colored candles. Everyone looks at you but nobody notices me. Even the blue tablecloth is prettier than me.”
The Menorah said, “Spin around once and count to three then blue is the color that you’ll be.”
The little dreidel spun and counted, “1, 2, 3,” and suddenly changed from brown to blue. Happily, it danced across the tablecloth just as Mommy carried in a plate of sizzling latkes and Jake, a bowl of applesauce. They did not notice the blue dreidel whirling by.
“They didn’t see me!” said the surprised dreidel. “Maybe I should be yellow like the applesauce.”
The Menorah replied, “Spin around once and count to three then yellow is the color that you’ll be.”
The dreidel spun and counted, “1, 2, 3,” but as Arielle put a spoon in the applesauce, she did not notice the yellow dreidel balancing on the rim of the bowl.
When Daddy brought in a tray of donuts oozing with red jelly, the dreidel again changed its mind. “Red is the perfect color for me!”
The Menorah sighed, “Spin around once and count to three then red is the color that you’ll be.”
The dreidel spun and counted, “1, 2, 3,” and bounced right on top of a soft jelly donut. But Daddy did not see the red dreidel as he placed napkins next to the donuts.
“What’s the matter with everyone?” the dreidel demanded. “I might as well be plain brown again.”
“Perhaps you’re right,” the Menorah nodded.
The little dreidel spun and counted, “1, 2, 3,” and turned brown once more.
As the family sat down for dinner, Daddy gave Jake and Arielle a bag of Hanukkah gelt. The children squealed with delight at the chocolate coins wrapped in golden foil.
“They’re for after dinner,” Daddy winked. “We’ll use them when we play the dreidel game,” he said, reaching for the wooden dreidel.
“This is a very special dreidel that my father made for me when I was a little boy. I thought it was lost but I found it in a box I’d stored away. He gave the dreidel a twirl. “It spins better than any other dreidel I ever had, even those with all the fancy colors.”
Jake and Arielle clapped their hands as the dreidel danced joyously across the table.
The Menorah smiled when it heard the dreidel shout, “See me spin so merrily. I am happy being me!”