It was the typical day when Shmuel came home from school and was pop-eyed when he saw his Mama crying, leaning against Papa. “What happened?” he asked in concerned tone but he heard no response and later was sent to do his homework by Papa.
“But Papa? Why is Mama crying so much?” Shmuel kept asking as if it was a warning sign of something bad coming soon. It was the second time he saw Mama’s eyes sinking in tears after his grandfather died two years ago. Next day Mama was making breakfast in the morning when Papa was reading a newspaper before he headed to his store where he was fixing people’s watches. After another day at school, when Shmuel arrived home, he found Nazi soldiers in his apartment and his parents packing up all the belongings and telling him to do everything soldiers tell him. Shmuel along with his brother, Yoel, his Mama, and Papa were loaded onto a truck with the crowd of people who all had the same armbands from a special cloth with a star on each. “Where are we going, Mama?” Shmuel asked.
Shmuel’s mother, Aviva, was hugging Shmuel and Yoel close to her and his father, Elazar, was kissing the top of her head and holding Shmuel’s hand. Shmuel knew that they do not want them to know where they all were going, so he imagined that they are going on another tour around Europe. “We are going somewhere, where soldiers saying we will be safe,” said Papa”Are you sure that we really going to be safe, Papa?” asked Shmuel when at that moment “You there!” yelled one of the soldiers pointing on the man on the other side of the truck. The soldier took out his gun and shot at him. He fell to the ground and the people in the truck screamed in terror. Shmuel turned his face into his mother’s stomach and she pulled him closer to her, closing his eyes from the view of the murdered victim.
Soon the truck began moving again. The soldiers were tormenting and swearing at the crowd of Jews on their way and after a while, they were all pushed out of the truck and loaded on a train. Shoving into a crowded cartload of people who were being packed in, using every possible inch of space available, Elazar tenderly took Shmuel from Aviva’s arms and said, “I’m scared, too. But, we’ll be heroes. We will put on a brave face like Hercules did when he fought with Medusa.” “Or Peter Pan when he faced Captain Hook,” Shmuel said. “Exactly,” his father nodded.
“We’ll be heroes like them.” “We love you so much,” Aviva said. Her brown eyes were filled with tears as she looked at her little boy again. “And we will always be together, even if we’re apart,” his father, Elizar added.