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The pencil crayons were scattered all across the table. Every so often, a small hand would reach out, scrabble through them, and pick one up. Then, tongue sticking out of the corner of the mouth, the pencil would be applied carefully to the paper.

“How are you doing, Karen,” the teacher asked. “Would you like a nice brown for the horse, perhaps?”

“No,” said Karen, reaching out to scrabble through the crayons again. “The pony’s purple.”

The teacher leaned over to look at the picture, even as the little girl hunched over the picture protectively.

“Is your sky yellow?”

“Uh-huh,” Karen reached for a pinkish pencil.

“Is that for the people’s faces?”

“Nuh-huh. They’re blue.”

“They’re blue? You know people aren’t usually blue, Karen. Nor are skies usually yellow. Or ponies purple.”

Karen looked up. “Of course I know that. But why would I colour what’s real? I can see that any time. Purple ponies are better.”

The teacher raised an eyebrow, sighed and walked away. Karen admired her picture. It was definitely better than real life.

© Kari Fay