Lenny and Benny by Naama Benziman
Lenny lives on the edge of the forest. He spends his days tending his roses, drinking cocoa and practicing for jumping competitions. He can jump further than anyone in the forest; not even the flea, frog or squirrel can beat him. Until Benny turns up.
Lenny and Benny have the best time in the world together but when Lenny realizes that Benny can jump further than he can, he accuses him of cheating and lying and refuses to see him ever again.
Time passes and Benny decides to have a party. He invites everybody except Lenny, but the postman accidentally delivers an invitation anyway. Lenny, ready to be friends again, is delighted. However, when he turns up, Benny is enraged, calls him a liar and says he never wants to see him again.
But Lenny and Benny did once have the best time in the world together. Is any argument worth losing such a great friendship over?
Inspired by the midrash about Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza, in which an inter-communal squabble ultimately leads to the destruction of the Second Temple, this is a story about the importance and joy of friendship, the futility of conflict and how destructive an unresolved argument can be.
Year first published: 2021