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Mitzi Buys Apples

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"Tell me a Mitzi," said Martha.

"Later I will," said her mother. "We need to finish cleaning first."

"I'll dust faster if I have a story to listen to," said Martha.

Once upon a time (said her mother) there was a Mitzi and she had a mother and a father and a brother named Jacob who had just started the fourth grade.

One day Mitzi's father came home with several bags of groceries and put them on the kitchen counter. Mitzi's mother began looking inside them and putting the food in the refrigerator.

"Which bag are the apples in?" said Mitzi's mother.

"Apples weren't on the list," said Mitzi's father.

Mitzi's mother looked at him. Then she looked at Mitzi. "Mitzi," she said, "can you and Jacob please buy some apples on your way home from school tomorrow?"

"Ok," said Mitzi.

The next day, when Mitzi's school let out, she walked over to Jacob's school and waited for it to let out. Then she and Jacob walked the other direction back to their building. The elevator was out of order, so they walked up the stairs to their apartment. Mitzi got out her key.

"Weren't we supposed to buy apples today?" said Jacob.

"Yes," said Mitzi.

She put her key back in her pocket. Then she and Jacob walked back down the stairs. They walked four blocks to the produce stand. There were no apples left for sale there.

"Sorry," said Mrs. Myers. "I just sold my last bag."

"Thanks anyway, Mrs. Myers," said Mitzi.

Mitzi and Jacob walked three more blocks to the market and went to the produce aisle. There was one bin of Red Delicious apples there.

"Mom hates Red Delicious," Mitzi said.

"She really does," said Jacob.

So Mitzi and Jacob left the market without buying anything, and they walked five more blocks to the bodega next to the chewing-gum shop. At the bodega there were two small bins of Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples. Mitzi filled a bag with Golden Delicious apples and took it to the counter and paid for them and thanked Mr. Garza.

When she and Jacob went back outside, Jacob said, "I want gum."

"Me too," said Mitzi. So they went into the chewing-gum store and bought a pack of gum apiece. They each took out one stick of gum to chew on their way home.

Then they walked all the blocks back to their building. They walked up the stairs to their apartment. Mitzi took out her key and let them inside. She put the bag of apples down on the kitchen counter and started looking in the refrigerator and the cupboards for a snack. While she was doing that, she noticed something. "Jacob," she said, "we don't have any honey."

Jacob looked at Mitzi. Mitzi looked at Jacob.

The door buzzer rang. "You better get that," said Jacob.

Mitzi answered the door, and it was Grandpa. "Grandpa!" said Mitzi. "I didn't know you were coming over today."

"I tried to call earlier," he said, "but nobody answered."

"We just got home," Mitzi explained.

"Anyway, I can't stay long," said Grandpa. "I just came to bring you this." He pulled out a jar of honey from his bag. "Our friends gave us some jars from their rooftop hive, so I thought I'd bring you all one, too."

Mitzi and Jacob both said, "Thank you, Grandpa!"

Grandpa hugged them. "See you at temple," he said.

"See you," said Mitzi.

She took the honey to the kitchen and put it on the counter next to the apples. Then she looked in the refrigerator again and fixed herself and Jacob a snack, and they sat down together to eat it.