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  • For Mia, aged 6.

    Charlie lived in grey house which stood in a grey street which weaved its way through a grey town. He wasn’t an unhappy kid – on the contrary, Charlie saw the world both as beautiful and crazy all at the same time.

    But where Charlie was alone was in the way he looked at the world. He knew that there was more to life than all this greyness, the question was where to find it.

    His grey school room was taught over by a grey teacher who had once shown something other than grey from her eyes but as Charlie didn’t have a word for it, he decided he must have imagined it.

    One day Charlie was busy drawing an elephant, (on a piece of paper, not actually drawing on an elephant as that would have been stupid) with his tongue hanging out of his mouth and as he scribbled hard, his pencil shot out of his hand and under his desk.

    When Charlie leaned down to get his pencil, two strange things happened. One – all the blood rushed to his head and made him feel really dizzy. Two – the world seemed to take on something other than grey, he still had no idea what it was but for the first time Charlie could see the world in colors.

    He sat upright just a bit too quickly and nearly made himself sick – but there it was, the world was back to being grey.

    Charlie decided to keep this secret to himself and run all the way home. When he got to his bedroom, he had one last look out in the hall, in case the family were nearby then he went into his room and did a handstand against the wall. Sure enough the world became colorful again, so much nicer than the grey one.

    So every chance he could get, Charlie would stand on his hands and enjoy the way he looked at the world. Okay, so no one else looked at the world the way Charlie did, but he didn’t care, in fact he loved being the only one who knew the secret.

    One day, when he felt like a walk, Charlie went down to the river and when no one was looking, he stood on his hands and the world seemed right again. That was until a large shadow was cast across his face – he hoped it wasn’t the kids from the other street, he knew they’d never understand but it wasn’t them. Instead, it was a young girl and what was more surprising was the fact that her face was the right way up.

    Charlie was used to seeing a beautiful world but with people the wrong way round.

    You see, the pretty young girl loved to see the world the same way as Charlie did, she loved to stand on her hands too and that made Charlie happy.

    The two of them could share the beautiful world now. He wasn’t alone.
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