SAMMY COLORS A PICTURE
All the children came back to the classroom. They had had a lot of fun at recess. Sammy had looked for the red bird who had been tap tapping on the schoolroom window, but it had flown away. But there were games to play and running and jumping to be done, so Sammy was happy.
Now it was time to sit still and listen to the teacher. Sammy tried very hard not to look at the window. But his eyes just wouldn’t look straight ahead. He tried a quick glance out of the corner of his eye. No bird. No bird? Had they scared him away? He forgot the teacher and looked very hard at the window. There was something different about it. It no longer looked clear and clean. “She put a screen over it!” thought Sammy. “That’s why the bird is gone!”
Then he saw a red head bobbing along the window sill. The red bird looked in the window but it did not tap. It hopped back and forth a while and then flew away.
Miss Sherry walked along beside the desks and laid a paper on each one. “Take out your crayons, children, and color this nice buttercup. The buttercup is a yellow flower with green leaves. Be sure to stay neatly inside the lines and show me what a pretty flower you can color.”
Sammy looked at the paper. Sometimes he liked flowers. Sometimes he picked a bouquet of them for him mommy. But today he did not like flowers. And he especially did not like coloring inside the lines of a picture someone else had drawn. “I think I will make a prettier picture,” Sammy thought, “a picture of a very pretty bird.” He dug his box of crayons out of his desk. It took a while to find them and he had to put some back in the box; but soon they were all lying nicely in the groove on his desk. Only one or two rolled off and had to be picked up.
Sammy drew a bright red line through the buttercup. “There, that’s prettier than yellow!”
And he added another red line. He continued drawing with bright red strokes until he had the bird almost done. “Oh, I forgot the most important part!” said Sammy. And he said it out loud because he had forgotten Miss Sherry.
Before he could find his yellow crayon Miss Sherry was standing beside his desk. “Sammy, what did I tell you to color?” Sammy jumped and his crayons all rolled onto the floor.
He got down on the floor and picked them up. He hoped Miss Sherry would forget him and talk to someone else. But when he had them all in his hands and was scooting back into his seat, there she was, still looking at his beautiful picture.
“It doesn’t have a beak yet, Miss Sherry,” said Sammy. “It will look better when I’ve finished. Don’t you think?”
Miss Sherry sighed. “Your picture is very pretty, Sammy. But it is not the one on the paper, is it?”
“No,” said Sammy. “It’s better!”
“Finish your picture, Sammy, and then I’ll give you another page to color. You can color it while the other children play outside.” Miss Sherry walked back to her desk.
Sammy picked up his yellow crayon. But he was not so happy now. He added a big yellow beak just the right size for making big taps on a window. It was done and he put his crayons back in the box. But here came Miss Sherry with another color page. She picked up his red bird picture and replaced it with another buttercup.
His teacher tacked the red bird on the bulletin board. “Isn’t Sammy’s picture pretty?” she asked the children. “Now he’s going to color our buttercup while you all go out to recess.” And the children all clapped then lined up to go outdoors.
Sammy once more took out the yellow crayon. He began coloring the blooms on the buttercup plant. Then he colored the green leaves. He was very careful to stay in the lines and soon he was finished. He looked at the pretty buttercup. It looked nice and neat and …boring!
He took a red crayon and made a red middle for the flowers. Then he took a yellow crayon and made just one mark outside the lines.
“Now,” thought Sammy, “I’ll know which picture is mine!”