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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Best Stories of Childhood -

I was discussing earlier with a friend our best remembered and loved childhood stories. In England I think I am right in saying that Antoine de St Exupery's "The Little Prince" is not as well known as it should be and I introduced to her "The Colour Kittens," a little tale by Margaret Wise Brown and ilustrated by Alice & Martin Provensen that in my family, entranced several generations of children.
I expect my brother and his family has the copy that was in our parents' house from the 1940's on. It is still in print but I am going to stick my neck out and "privately" publish it here because I like it and so does every child of three years old going on seventy that I know. The Colour (Mostly on Google as Color) Kittens is a timeless and educational story of Hush and Brush so listen!
“Once there were two colour kittens with green eyes, Brush and Hush. They liked to mix and make colours by splashing one colour into another. They had buckets and buckets and buckets and buckets of colour to splash around with. Out of these colours they would make all the colours in the world.
The buckets had the colours written on them, but of course the kittens couldn’t read.
They had to tell by the colours. ‘It is very easy,’ said Brush. ‘Red is red. Blue is blue.’ said Hush. But they had no green. ‘No green paint!’ said Brush and Hush. And they wanted green paint of course, because nearly every place they liked to go was green. Green as cats’ eyes. Green as grass. By streams of water. Green as glass. So they tried to make some green paint.
Brush mixed red paint and white paint together - and what did that make? It didn’t make green. But it made pink. Pink as pigs. Pink as toes. Pink as a rose. Or a baby’s nose.
Then Hush mixed yellow and red together, and it made orange. Orange as an orange tree. Orange as a bumblebee. Orange as the setting sun. Sinking slowly in the sea. The kittens were delighted, but it didn’t make green.
Then they mixed red and blue together - and what did that make? It didn’t make green. It made a deep dark purple. Purple as violets. Purple as prunes. Purple as shadows on late afternoons. Still no green!
And then…
O wonderful kittens! O Brush! O Hush! At last, almost by accident, the kittens poured a bucket of blue and a bucket of yellow together, and it came to pass that they made a green as green as grass. Green as green leaves on a tree. Green as islands in the sea.
The little kittens were so happy with all the colours they had made that they began to paint everything around them. They painted… Green leaves and red berries, and purple flowers and pink cherries. Red tables and yellow chairs, black trees with golden pears.
Then the kittens got so excited they knocked their buckets upside down and all the colours ran together.
Yellow, red, a little blue and a little black…and that made brown. Brown as a tugboat, brown as an old goat, brown as a beaver. BROWN. And in all that brown, the sun went down. It was evening and colours began to disappear in the warm dark night.
The kittens fell asleep in the warm dark night with all their colours out of sight and as they slept they dreamed their dream - A wonderful dream of a red rose tree that turned all white when you counted three…One…Two..Three. Of a purple land in a pale pink sea, where apples fell from a golden tree. And then a world of Easter eggs that danced about on little short legs. And they dreamed of a mouse, a little gray mouse that danced on a cheese that was big as a house. And a green cat danced with a little pink dog, till they all disappeared in a soft grey fog.
And suddenly Brush woke up and Hush woke up. It was morning. they crawled out of bed into a big bright world. The sky was wild with sunshine. The kittens were wild with purring and pouncing - Pounce Pounce Pounce. They got so pouncey they knocked over the buckets and all the colours ran out together. There were all the colours in the world and the colour kittens had made them.
Sing Ho for the colour of Brush. Sing Ho for the colour of Hush. Sing Ho for the colour of Brush and Hush. Sing Ho for the colour of colour.
Now hush!”

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