I don’t where I heard this story before I had email and was flooded with stories like it every week – perhaps it was in one of Sark’s books (when I used to own every one) – but I think of it this time of year when the jacaranda trees are gloriously in regal bloom along the streets, casting pale purple shadows with their dropped blossoms.
There’s a young girl in school sitting at her desk drawing for her teacher’s assignment. Unfettered by adult logical constraint she does the entire landscape in all the colors of the rainbow and colors her treetops purple. When the teacher pauses to look over the girl’s picture, she tells her that trees are green, not purple, and to please start over. When the little girl protests, the teacher sweeps the drawing off the desk, tears it in two, and drops it in the trash. There are no purple trees, and that is that.
Well, of course, after years of drawing green trees, the girl ends up moving to Laguna Niguel, California and discovers in June that there are ARE PURPLE TREES. And they’re everywhere making the whole town smell sweet.
It’s a good one to think of, the next time you tell a kid he or she is wrong.