This short story was inspired by a post by Eddie Two Hawks today…
Once upon a time a girl-child was born. She was what is commonly referred to as a mixed-race child, being born to parents of different skin tones. Not that she noticed, of course, because her parents loved her, cared for her, nurtured her, and that was what she noticed most.
Her parents, both of whom were also mixed race, didn’t seem to notice, either. For their parents had had different skin tones. And they had loved them, cared for them, and nurtured them as well.
Eventually the child was old enough to go to school, and it was there that she first became aware that there was something different about her…
She approached the white children on the bus to school, but she was rebuffed. They told her,”you can’t sit with us, because you’re not white like us.”
The child was confused. “But I am white like you,” she assured them, “because I have white in me.”
But the white children were not convinced, so they turned their backs on her, and continued to talk among themselves. And the girl went and sat alone…
At first recess, the girl-child approached the black children, asking if she could play with them. But they shook their heads, saying, “you can’t play with us, because you’re not black like us.”
“But I am black,” the girl insisted, “because I have black in me.”
The children were not convinced, so they turned their backs on her, and continued to play amongst themselves. And the child left to go play by herself…
At lunchtime, the girl approached the brown children, who were sitting together, and asked if she could join them. But she was denied. They told her, “you can’t sit with us because you’re not brown like us.”
“But I am brown like you,” she responded, “because I have many shades of brown in me.”
But the children were not convinced, so they turned their backs on her, and continued eating lunch. The girl walked slowly away to eat her lunch alone…
At afternoon recess, the girl approached the yellow children, to see if she could play with them. But they told her no. “You can’t play with us, because you’re not yellow like us.”
“But I am yellow,” the child argued, “because I have yellow in me!”
But the children were not convinced, so they turned their backs on her, and continued playing their games. The child dragged her feet as she shuffled away to play by herself again…
On the way home, the girl asked to sit with the one red child, sitting alone on the bus. But that child didn’t understand. “Why would you want to sit with me? You’re not red like me.”
“But I am red,” the girl-child insisted, “because I have red in me.”
But the red child just shrugged and turned away, unconvinced, to stare out the window. And the girl felt tears rise within her as she sat alone again…
When she got home, her parents noticed immediately how distressed she was, and asked her about her day. The child cried as she revealed her experiences, while her parents held her close…
“I don’t understand!,” she told them. “I have all the colors of the rainbow within me, but none of them can recognize me! What’s wrong with me?”
“Aww, child,” her mother soothed. “There is nothing wrong with you! You are beautiful, and kind, and full of love and life!”
“But they won’t sit with me, or play with me, or talk to me, or listen to me…,” the child lamented.
Her father stepped in, holding her close. “It’s not your fault, Gaia,” he reassured her. “They’ve simply forgotten where they came from. Perhaps in time they will remember, and they will welcome you among them once again.”
“And until they do?,” Gaia asked her parents.
“You love them anyway, dear rainbow child,” her mother softly said, “you care for them and nurture them. Because that is what we do…”