Mrs. Newark saw her first.
Mrs. Newark had six kids between the ages of seven and three, plus a four-month-old baby. Their names were Shloimy, Malky, Gitty, Ahuva, Nissim, Avigdor and Little Lemech, and they were always arguing, whining or crying. On that Tuesday afternoon, this is what the house sounded like:
Shloimy: That’s my truck! Girls don’t have trucks! Mommy, tell her it’s mine! Mom-mee!
Malky: No, it’s mine! And we do too! Mommy, tell him it’s mine. Mom-mee!
Gitty: Mommy, when is Tatty coming home? Mommy, why is it so loud? Mommy, can you hold me? Mommy, can I tell you about what happened at school today? Mom-mee!
Ahuva: Mommy, I’m hungry. Mommy, I wanna eat something. Mommy, what can I eat? Mommy, can you pour me a drink? Mom-mee!
Nissim: Give me back my menchie! Mommy, tell him to give it back! Mom-mee!
Avigdor: Owie! Mommy, Nissim hit me. Mommy, he aw-ways pways wit da menchie. I wanna pway with it now! Mommy, Nissim’s hitting me. Mom-mee!
Lemech: Waaa! Waa! Waa-waa-waa!
All of a sudden their was a knock on the door. “What now”, thought Mrs. Newark, “I can’t handle anymore!” Gitty ran to get the door. “Mom-mee! There’s a big girl here! Can I let her in?” It must be one of the neighbor’s daughters, from the high school, thought Mrs. Newark, Why not? “Okay.” Gitty let the girl in.
But Mrs. Newark knew instantly it wasn’t a daughter of any of her neighbors. The girl, who looked to be in her early teens, carried herself in a refined manner. While her appearance wasn’t anything unusual, with dark brown hair, light blue eyes, freckles, and a very fair complexion, her inward beauty was obvious just from looking at her. Her eyes shone with kindness, but also a deep sadness. It was clear she had seen far too much in her short life. But Mrs. Newark was being distracted by all the screaming, and didn’t notice any of this. All she had time to notice was that the girl was Jewish, and that she’d never seen her before in her life.
The mysterious girl walked over to Shloimy and Malky and found another truck fairly similar to the one they were arguing over in the toy box. She gave it to Malky, and their shrieking quieted. Then she went to the pantry, took out a granola bar and gave it to Ahuva with a glass of milk. She went over to Nissim, gave him the menchie, and gave Avigdor a toy train. Then she went and picked up the baby. He quieted instantly, then slowly drifted off to sleep. She put him in his crib, then sat Gitty down on the couch next to her mother, where she blabbered about her day. Meanwhile, the girl slipped out of the house while Mrs. Newark watched after her, dumbfounded.
The girl walked down three blocks, made a few turns and walked up to the Finesteins house. She knocked on the door and was welcomed with something similar to her welcome at the Newarks.
In total, the girl had visited four hectic households before bedtime – all without saying a single word.