Netiva Caftori's children's book manuscript

The Mystery of the Skokie Pit

Netiva Caftori, DA

With the help of
the Highland School kids

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. - R. W. Emerson.

My art

This book is dedicated to the children in my life: Irene, Ashley, Carolyn, Adi, Noam, Shiry, and to their fathers Joel and Nir.

Many children in my neighborhood in Skokie were attracted to the flood control retention pond on Golf Road and Karlov Avenue. They called it "the pit". They were walking their dogs there, racing down the slopes, and sledding in winter.

What aroused their curiosity the most was the fenced gate at the corner of the pit. Behind the gate they could see a dark tunnel. A lock was on that grilled gate.

A rumor went that a witch kept the key to the gate. All the children waited for Halloween when the witch would come out. They hoped to trick her and get the key to the gate. Five children, the most courageous, were selected for the task.

There was a black cat in my neighborhood called Fudge. Carolyn, Barry, Andrew, Ashley and Irene, our five selected children, decided to follow Fudge on Halloween. They believed Fudge would lead them to the witch.

Indeed, Fudge led them to the witch's dwelling. She lived in a big red-brick house facing the strange pink-and-teal painted house.
With great apprehension the five children knocked on the witch's door. "Trick or treat!" they shouted as she opened the door, smiled, and invited them in.
They should have not entered, but their sense of adventure pushed them to it. Carolyn sneaked into the witch's bedroom to search around while the others tried to fish some red apples out of a big bowl and distracting the witch.
On a big dresser Carolyn spotted a huge key that seemed to be the right one for the task. She stuffed it into her pocket and hurried back into the livingroom. There she gestured her friends to follow her outside.
The witch seemed unhappy to see them leave before she could trick them. The children promised to be back.


Pwith my girls in Arizona

Your comments are appreciated.

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