One December day, an old man named Gimel found a puppy inside a hat on the seat of a city bus. It was after dark, he was on his way home from synagogue, and he didn’t see the hat until it was time to get off. The old man lived near a bus station, so when he got off the driver got off, too. But before he got off, he looked in the hat, which was, as a matter of fact, a top hat; black, and turned upside down under the back seat.
The puppy was curled inside the hat.
As the bus was empty, the old man took the hat home with him.
The old man called the puppy Dreidel, because he spun around before he curled up to sleep. Dreidel slept in that hat for two weeks. Then he grew too big. The old man kept the hat anyway, even though he never wore it. At night, he set it on the dresser, beside his kippah.
After meeting, they were never apart for a single day. The puppy lived to become an old dog and the old man lived to become a very old man.
And now only the hat remains. I’ve seen it, sometimes, in the corner of the bus. Under the seat. At the end of the line.
I think tomorrow I might look inside.
For the month of December, my goal is to post a piece of festive flash fiction here to the blog every day. Twenty-five stories, each 250 words or fewer — a little fictional festivity to brighten the darkest month of the year. For readers, I offer these stories as a moment of peace within a hectic month of busy. And writers? If you’d like to join me, I’ll feature any flash fiction you’d like to share!