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April 10, 2021

Our story begins at a children’s daycare. Looking past the tiny bookshelves, mini-stools, little tables and mountains of toys, one could see the colour box, which was home to the family of crayons.

The crayons took pride in their appearance. They were handled with care and sharpened to perfection. Being used by the children in the daycare was a matter of pride and status among them, as such the crayons that were used the most were honoured and regarded as inspirational.

What about the crayons that were seldom used, you ask? Well, they remained in their boxes, waiting to be used by the children. The popular crayons took great joy in calling them mean names to cement their uselessness. However, one notable outlier was the Red crayon.

She was Red, one of the primary colours, and should have been one of the most used but her predicament was rather peculiar; she was broken in half. No, this wasn’t the result of a careless child, or a heated duel between Red and another; she was created that way from the crayon factory. Red still remembered the day the crayon box was opened, the awestruck look on the children’s faces as they looked upon the rainbow of crayons stretched before them, well until their gaze landed on Red anyway. She was only half the size of others and was missing her label. She stuck out like a sore thumb compared to the splendid symmetry of her brothers and sisters.

The kids avoided Red. Instead they made use of her siblings, Vermillion and Crimson. Still, Red held on to the hope that maybe one day she would help a child finish a drawing. But day after day, her morale dropped lower and lower.

The other Crayons would often talk about her, and what they would say! “That poor child,” whispered Cyan as Red rolled past, “To think she will never truly be one of us.” “She’s just lazy! If she worked hard, she could easily make herself useful!” interjected Golden Yellow. “What an unfortunate creature”, added Leaf Green, sadly.

Eventually, the daycare decided to hold a drawing competition. Most of the crayons rejoiced; it was their time to shine! Their excited conversations and discussions carried a great deal of warmth Red didn’t feel. She watched as the colour box was opened and a swarm of children grabbed handfuls of crayons and set to work. She rolled towards the corner of the colour box, along with Olive Green, Charcoal Grey, Eggplant and Prussian Blue, the other crayons that were unpopular among the children.

Suddenly, a tiny hand reached into the colour box. Red looked up to see a small child examining the few colours that were left behind in the colour box. Why wasn’t this child with the rest of the group? Before Red could think of any reasons, the child’s face broke into a grin and she picked up

all the colours that were discarded by the other daycare children. Red noticed this child rolled instead of walking, indeed the child used a wheeled chair to get around.

The child rolled towards her table and carefully laid out the crayons before starting her drawing. Red closely watched the child draw. Even though this child required aid to move around, her grip was sure and her lines had more control than the rest of her peers.

Oh wow! The drawing turned out wonderfully. Then the child began to colour. She picked up red and started filling in the rose that she had drawn.

Despite her disuse, Red glided smoothly on the paper, skating with a grace that no one had had the opportunity to see before. Although the other colours the child picked up were quite dull, they made the rose look even prettier and eye catching. ‘Blooming Rose’ the child titled it.

A flux of emotions coursed through Red. Her throat felt dry and her knee seemed weak. She couldn’t believe it! Throughout her life she had been convinced that she was destined for incompetence, but here right now she proved everyone wrong!

Red could hardly contain herself as the teacher awarded the child the first prize.

Despite her victory, Red’s life was mostly unchanged. The other crayons would still talk, but now they said things to the tune of, “My, Red was absolutely brilliant!”, or “She’s so modest!”, “Who could have known she had that in her?” And even, “Oh, I knew from the start she was the best of us!”

And she was!

Akanksha Sur, B Des Sem. 6, Animation and Motion Graphics, School of Communication Design, Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID)

Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.

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