Jason Endfield copyright 2004.
It had been many many years since Yetta was last in the city
and much had changed.
At barely four feet tall and with a head of thick, bushy
white hair, this tiny old lady turned heads wherever she went - not
that she generally ventured far from the little hamlet of Brodz where
she had lived for all of her eighty years.
But this was a big trip. A most important day had come for
Yetta. In Brodz nobody much cared about her; she had lived alone on the
edge of the village for as long as most of the villagers had been
In later years she had the company of a small, untidy dog,
Bosso, but Bosso had died some months earlier and Yetta had been very
sad indeed - though not that many people in Brodz had noticed. Yetta
was just 'little old Yetta' to the villagers and so it was.
A bright spring day had dawned when the villagers of Brodz
saw Yetta, busy hanging out clothes on the line in her small garden.
She was always a very houseproud woman and her garden was full of
flowers nearly all year round; it was not unusual for Yetta to have
washing on her line on bright, breezy days such as this. But, as the
village women had noticed, this time on the line were very fine
garments, a hand-made velvet gown, a beautiful shawl and an exquisitely
embroidered skirt - all tiny enough to fit old Yetta.
The postman's wife had told the other women that her husband
had delivered a telegram to Yetta a few days earlier - it had arrived
from the city, but Yetta had appeared neither surprised or anxious as
the postman handed it over to her. It had almost seemed as though she
had been expecting it. The postman's wife knew the business of everyone
in Brodz but had never even thought that Yetta had any business of any
consequence to gossip about.
Apparently Yetta had received many letters from the city
during the past few months but never before a telegram. Now the
villagers had begun to gossip about Yetta and especially that morning
when the fine clothes hung on the line.
"Somebody has died.." said one woman, "..she'll be going to a
"No no!" shouted another, "she has won money - that's what it
"Mazeltov!" shouted yet another, "but what should she need
money for? Better to share it around."
The village women didn't dare ask Yetta - they had ignored
years and hadn't even visited her when Bosso had died. The butcher's
wife had contrived to walk past Yetta's garden as she collected her
washing off the line and had commented on the lovely weather.
Wise old Yetta had smiled and nodded and replied, "like a
blessing - a brand new day".
Now, here in the big city, Yetta was nervous but happy,
she was in her finest clothes. She carried her small travelling case
along the bustling avenues and boulevards. A proud old lady with a rare
inner beauty that illuminated the world for those who really knew her;
those like Motl, the gentleman with whom Yetta had been corresponding
for several months. He had seen her advertisement in the newspaper. It
read: "Yetta, 80 years old, alone but alive, small in size but big in
heart, seeks someone to love and care for.
Yetta and Motl. You see, it is never too late.
Jason Endfield is a UK based Jewish writer. He invites
comments and correspondence via: firstname.lastname@example.org
from the July 2004 Edition of the Jewish Magazine