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The Crayon Family

THE CRAYON FAMILY The Crayon family lived in a big colourful box in the stationery shop. They were very thrilled and excited. Having sat on the shelf for what seemed ever such an age, they had just been bought as a gift from her grandmother for a girl called Annie. As soon as she unwrapped them, they peeped out at her from the cutaway gap at the top of the crayon box. They could tell immediately was a neat and tidy child who would take good care of them. Her honey brown hair was neatly held back with a shiny blue Alice band, except for a few long strands of hair that had escaped their noose and spilled down, softly framing her sweet little face. Annie took each crayon out of the box, to hold them and feel how fat and waxy they were in their paper wrappings printed with smiley faces. She loved drawing pictures and carefully colouring them in, and she could not wait to tell her art teacher Miss Boddington what a lovely gift her granny had bought her and to show her how many different and pretty colours she had. ‘I am ever so queenly’, boasted Purple crayon to the rest of the crayons. “Kings and queens, princes and princesses love to wear my royal colour”. She was such a brag. Brown crayon stopped smiling and looked browned-off and irritated. “Oh pipe down, you are not that special, you don’t colour nearly as many things as I do. I am far more useful. I colour the ground and rocks and tree trunks and all the brown animals under the sun. So there!” Pink crayon was sweet, as pink things always are, so she smiled her sweet smile and blushed with pleasure at the thought of all the pretty things she could colour, such as carnations and cupcakes and candyfloss. Yellow crayon grinned so broadly his little pointy head nearly fell off. He would have done a happy somersault if his body had not been so stiff. “I am the colour of happiness and I colour cheerful sunbeams and sunflowers and ducks and daffodils.” Lemon crayon looked a little sour at hearing this, because she was not as brightly coloured as Yellow. “I am more unusual,” she was quick to reply. Blue and Green crayons gleefully rubbed shoulders together in the box. They knew they were very important in pictures, because who doesn’t like to draw the sky and sea and chirpy little bluebirds, and grass and leaves, chameleons and little hoppy frogs. Red, Orange, Indigo and Lilac crayons were not at all upset at being the colours they were. They had amazing things to colour, baskets of fruit and flowers, and balloons and ribbons and beach umbrellas and clowns in stripy trousers. Even Grey crayon was pleased with herself. She loved to colour delicate things such as soft downy doves, pearly shells and swishy ostrich feathers. White and Black crayons kept very quiet. They were ever so miserable. White knew very well that she was only used a teeny little bit, for fluffy clouds floating by, and maybe a daisy or two, or a sailboat on the sea now and then. I’m so awfully boring,” she said mournfully. Black crayon was even sadder. Hardly anyone ever used him. His little face was dark and gloomy. The other crayons in the crayon family felt unhappy for them. “It’s not so bad”, said Pink crayon kindly, as she lay next to Black crayon in the box. “You are the colour of Snow White’s beautiful glossy black hair.” “How often do children draw Snow White?” Black crayon answered glumly. “What about the night-sky?” asked Blue crayon, trying to be helpful. “That’s all very well,” Black crayon sniffed. “But everybody looks at the silver stars and golden moon in my night-sky. They never notice me.” He gave a little sigh. Annie didn’t know how her gift of crayons felt about themselves because only crayons can hear themselves talking. She tucked them into their box and proudly took them off to school. “Today, and for the rest of the week I shall read you a story, and then perhaps you will draw and colour in a scene from each of the stories I read,” said the art teacher Miss Boddinton. This news made the class very happy, especially Annie. The first story was about a little brown dog who got lost in the park and followed a rainbow home. Annie used all her brilliant colours, but, oh dear, not White and not Black crayon. The second story was about a submarine under the sea. Annie drew coral and fish and seaweed and shells and used all her brilliant colours, but, oh dear, not White and not Black crayons. Each day a story was told to the class and each scene that Annie drew was flooded with wonderful dazzling colours. White and Black crayons lay sadly at the back of the box, pretty much hidden, never once being used. On the last day of the week, the book that Miss Boddington read to the class was about a remarkable zoo and an amazing zoo keeper who loved exotic and unusual animals. He went on adventures all over the world to find them and bring them back to live in his zoo. He returned with a panda bear, two skunks, three badgers, four penguins and six zebras. Annie happily got busy and drew all sixteen new zoo animals. She coloured them in beautifully with her brand new crayons. That day White and Black crayons were the happiest and proudest little crayons in the Crayon family, because, of course, they were the only colours Annie used.