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A curious Sammy Spider peered down from his web as Josh Shapiro closed his suitcase.
"Mother," asked Sammy. "What is Josh doing?"
"He's packing for his family's trip to Israel," answered Mrs. Spider.
"Will we go too?" asked Sammy.
"Silly little Sammy," laughed Mrs. Spider.
"Spiders don't fly to Israel. Spiders spin webs."
Sammy wasn't listening. He watched
Mr. Shapiro give Josh a toy airplane.
"Thanks!" exclaimed Josh. "Is this a model of the El Al airplane that is flying us to Israel?"
"Yes," nodded Mr. Shapiro. "Now get your suitcase, Josh. We're leaving for the airport."
Sammy lowered himself on a strand of webbing to get a closer look at the little airplane. He had just crawled inside the window above the wing, when Josh picked up the airplane and dashed to the waiting taxi.
"Oh no!" cried Mrs. Spider as Josh ran out the door carrying the plane with Sammy inside.
She was not sure what to do. Keeping Sammy from exploring was as hopeless as keeping the sun from rising each morning. And she knew he wouldn't be traveling alone.
From inside the little airplane, Sammy watched the big plane take off and fly above the clouds into the blue sky. He felt scared, but he couldn't help feeling a little bit excited, too.
Hours later, the plane landed at Ben Gurion Airport. A taxi took the Shapiros to their Tel Aviv Hotel.
"Shalom!" said the taxi driver as they got in.
"Shalom," replied Mr. Shapiro. "That's the Hebrew word for hello," he told Josh.
After they unpacked, the Shapiros decided to walk along the beach. Josh put on his swimsuit and grabbed the little plane.
"Shalom!" said the lifeguard.
"Shalom!" replied Josh.
Sammy smelled fresh sea air mingled with the aromas of sidewalk cafes and fruit stands.
"I wish my mother were here to enjoy the smells of Israel," he thought.
That evening the family strolled along Dizengoff Street. Josh had the little plane tucked under his arm.
Shalom!" said a sidewalk musician who was playing Israeli music on his guitar.
Excerpted from Sammy Spider's First Trip to Israel by Sylvia A. Rouss, Katherine Janus Kahn. Copyright © 2002 Sylvia Rouss. Excerpted by permission of Kar-Ben Publishing.
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