A Color for Katie
by L.P. Chase
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Katie didn’t have a favorite color. She wanted to find a color that fit her perfectly, like her favorite pair of fuzzy socks. Katie wouldn’t settle for just any color. She wanted it to make her feel special.
So, she grabbed a piece of paper and a crayon and decided to ask her family what their favorite colors were.
As Katie wandered around her house, she passed Mommy working very hard in the kitchen. Little brother was playing with blocks in the den, big brother was at the dining room table, and Daddy was in the backyard chopping some logs for firewood. Everyone was very busy.
“Mommy,” Katie called out. “Do you have a favorite color?”
Mommy looked up from mopping the floor and wiped her forehead with her sleeve. “After I’ve finished the floors, okay?”
“Okay.” Katie sighed and put a checkmark next to Mommy’s name. Next, Katie ran into the den and watched little brother for a few minutes. He was building a huge tower with blocks and didn’t even look up.
“What is your favorite color?” she asked.
“Blue,” he blurted, stacking another block on top of his building.
“Why is blue special?”
“Blue is the best!” he said. “It’s clouds at night and story time, and it tastes like blueberries on my tongue.”
Katie wrote the word “blue” on her paper and skipped off to the dining room where she spied her big brother doing homework.
He waved. “Not now, I’m busy.”
Katie hung her head. “I just want to know your favorite color.”
As she turned away, he called out, “Red.”
Katie’s face lit up. “Why is red special?”
“Red is awesome! It’s fast like a racecar. It’s super hot like fiery flames, and it reminds me of cherry ice.”
Katie wrote the word “red” on her paper and skipped over to the back door. She slid the screen to one side, “Daddy, do you have a favorite color?”
He swung the ax into a log. “Favorite color? Let’s see… it would have to be purple.”
“What’s special about purple?”
“Purple reminds me of taking a boat out into the ocean at dusk. It’s when the sky swirls with colors as night draws near. And purple reminds me of reeling in a great big fish."
Katie wrote the word “purple” on her paper and headed back to the kitchen.
“Don’t walk on the wet floor,” Mommy called out.
“Can you tell me your favorite color now?” Katie asked again.
“Hmm. Green,” her mother said. “Yes, definitely green!”
“Why green?” Katie asked.
“Green takes me to an imaginary place with trees jeweled in emeralds. It smells like fresh peppermint leaves from the garden and tastes like a cool breeze.”
Katie wrote the word “green” in her notebook and sat down right there on the floor next to the kitchen doorway. She read her notes out loud, “blue, red, purple, green.”
Katie thought about the colors. Why don’t I have a color that makes me feel special? Blue didn’t feel like clouds to her, or taste like blueberries. Red didn’t feel like a fast car or hot flames. And it certainly didn’t taste like cherry ices. Purple didn’t seem like her special color either. Katie had never been out on a boat in the ocean at dusk, and she didn’t care much for fishing. And green was sort of pretty, but Katie definitely didn’t go to a faraway place with emerald trees when she thought about green.
Katie spent the rest of the day calling friends and cousins and aunts and uncles, asking everyone the same question.
By the time she was ready for bed, Katie’s piece of paper had so many colors on it her head was spinning. She had doubles of blues, and reds, triples of purples and greens, more pinks and yellows, and even browns and grays.
Then something occurred to Katie. Nobody, not one single person, had chosen the color orange.
Why wouldn’t anyone choose orange, she wondered. Poor orange. It’s so left out.
That night Katie waited in bed for her turn to be tucked in. She smoothed her covers, fluffed her pillow, and twirled her thumbs. When her mother finally got Katie’s little brother to sleep, and then tucked in her big brother, she came into Katie’s room.
“There,” her mother said with relief as she sat on the edge of Katie’s bed. “The boys are tucked in. Now I have more time to spend with you.”
Katie let out a velvety sigh.
“Did you ever find your special color, Katie?”
“Yes. Katie said. “My new favorite color will be orange.”
“And why did you choose orange?” her mother asked.
Katie’s smile faded. “I picked orange because nobody else did, and I didn’t want orange to feel left out. Poor orange,” said Katie. “It must be so lonely. I want orange to feel special.”
“Is that how you feel, Katie? Do you feel like orange?”
Katie’s eyes welled. “Mommy, I wish I was special. But I’m just regular."
“But don’t you see, Katie…you already are special.”
“I am?” Katie asked with hope.
“Of course you are. God gives everyone special qualities. And your decision to choose orange tells me how caring you are. You have a very big heart. That’s something to be proud of,” her mother said.
A timid smile crept from beneath Katie’s lips. “So that’s that. Orange will be my special color,” Katie declared.
She leaned over the edge of the bed and picked up her paper and crayon. And as she began to write down her new favorite color, Katie noticed something interesting. She was using an orange crayon all the while. That made her smile even wider.
The next afternoon, Katie sat in her favorite chair by the window with all of her new orange items. Everyday, she stared out that window, looked up into the blue sky and wished she could be special. But today she wished for something different. Today, Katie wished for orange to feel special. “Nobody wants to be left out.”
And just as she did, Katie noticed something magical. As she stared out the window, she watched the big fiery ball in the sky melt into the earth. The beautiful sunset was orange.
Katie really did love orange. She loved how it stretched out its arms and hugged her as the warmth soaked into her skin. And if she listened hard enough, Katie could hear the soft whisper of angels’ wings fluttering around the sun until the beautiful color orange softly faded into a sea of midnight blue.
She knew that her prayers were answered. Orange really was special, and it was just like Katie.
Katie couldn’t wait to go to sleep that night. After her mother tucked her in and turned out the light, Katie looked out her window and whispered, “Thank you, God, for making me special. And for my new favorite color. It fits me perfectly!”