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Mary and the Paints

By Nadya Rafaeli

Once upon a time, there lived a little girl, named Mary, who loved to draw more than

anything in the world. Every day Mary would draw on a sketch pad, in a notebook, on sheets of paper, and even, sometimes, on the driveway with colored chalk.

Each morning when she woke up, Mary hurried over to the table where her paints and colored pencils were laid out. By breakfast time, she already had two or three drawings finished. And every evening Mary would ask, “Please, Mommy, can I do one last drawing? Just one more, I promise.”

Well, one afternoon Mary was very sleepy. She had just started to draw when she began feeling so drowsy she could hardly keep her eyes open, so she dropped off to sleep with a paintbrush in her hand.

While Mary slept, she had the most wonderful dream. In it, she was in a country full of paint, where she met the colors “red,” “yellow,” “green,” “blue,” and “white.” They had very

simple names, but every color had its own personality; no two were the same.

Red immediately shook Mary’s hand and introduced himself. He always wanted to be the first to do things and he was not afraid of anything. He was cheerful, brave, and sure of himself. He believed he could do anything!

Yellow was very pleasant to talk to. He liked comfortable things that were familiar to him. His favorite foods were crepes and pancakes. Every day, Yellow went outside and watered the daisies with his big, yellow watering pot.

Blue loved to daydream. He wrote poems and could spend hours staring at the sky, the clouds, and the lake.

Green was a very kind color. From morning until night, he would ride his bike to take care of plants and animals.

And White, he was a magician. At times he would disappear and then reappear somewhere else unexpectedly. He liked anything unusual and could do magic tricks using white mice.

Now, each color wanted to create a wonderful picture for Mary.

Red yelled, “I’m first!” and rushed off to pick out the best paintbrush.

Yellow decided to have something to eat first. Blue, as always, spent a long time daydreaming about what his picture might look like.

Green immediately got to work; he completely covered the entire page leaving no empty spots.

White became lost in his thoughts and simply vanished into thin air.

Then came the most exciting moment of all. All the colors presented their gifts to Mary. She

looked carefully at the first drawing and then slowly said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t like it at all. It looks like a flash of hot fire.”

Then Yellow showed Mary his drawing. “I’m sorry, but there is too much sun and sand; it’s like a desert. It doesn’t have a single drop of water. I can’t put a picture like this on my wall.”

Then it was Blue’s turn to give Mary his present. “Oh, dear,” she cried. “What an endless sea this is! I might swim somewhere very far away and get lost. Everywhere I look there is water!”

Green’s drawing seemed like a thick, scary forest to her. Who knew what animals were wandering around that forest!

And as much as Mary tried, she couldn’t see anything at all in White’s drawing.

The colors bowed their heads in disappointment. They had the best intentions, but none had made Mary happy.

“What I really want is a picture of a sea, a bright sun, a forest, birds flying in the air, flowers growing in the field, and berries to eat,” Mary explained. “It would have a squirrel searching for nuts on a tree, a kite flying in the sky, and a house in the distance with a tile roof. A boy and a girl would live there, and their window would be open and they would be looking outside with smiles on their faces. Would you draw me a picture like that? I am sure it would be really beautiful, and you would make me very happy,” Mary said.

At first, Red wanted to try it all by himself but he realized that there was no way he could do it without his friends. How would he paint the grass, the sea, and the sand without them? So, the colors decided to work together. Yellow drew the sun, the sunflowers in the field, and the house. Blue colored in the sky, the sea, and a ball for the kids to play with. Green drew the forest and the grass. White created smoke from the chimney, clouds in the sky, and a stork in the distance. Everyone did his part to make Mary happy.

And she was! To Mary’s delight, the picture came out bright and cheerful and really beautiful. Mary thought it was delightful to look at.

But just as she reached out to pick it up, she suddenly awoke. To her amazement, there it was hanging on her wall, with all the colors sparkling! From that day on, the picture always reminded her that just as the paints needed to work together, people, too, cannot create anything beautiful without each other!

Illustrations: Larisa Novikova

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