The rickety porch steps wobbled and groaned as the children gently tiptoed up them. David took a deep breath and rang the doorbell. As soon as he touched it, a shrill bleat filled the air.

“David, let’s go!” cried Yehudis, but she was too frightened to move. And then the old door creaked open.

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“What do you children want?” An old gray-haired woman, with a scraggly cat clinging to her shoulder, appeared through the spider webs in the doorway. Holding her cane in her arm, she shook her bony finger at the children, shouting in a crackling voice, “Why are you bothering me?”

“Uh-“ David began, “please excuse us, but do Chana Schwartz and her mother live here?”

“No, they don’t,” the old woman crackled. “They live in the basement! Go knock on the side door, and don’t come back here!” She slammed the door in their face.


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