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The Purple Cow With Green Horns

‘Mom, is this beautiful?’ With a smile on her lips, the little girl showed her mom the picture of a cow she had coloured. There was eagerness and expectation in her eyes.

‘Wow, so beautiful, baby!’ Mom looked at her picture with furrowed brows and shook her head with a small smile. ‘But baby, cows are not purple and they don’t have green horns’, she said and the little girl’s smile died halfway.

She looked up at her mom with a pout, ‘But why not?’ There was a sulk in her voice and the stubbornness of a young child.

‘Because they are brown or black or white…never purple’. Mom said as she patted her girl’s head. ‘Paint it brown or black the next time…’

The girl, her cheerfulness forgotten, left the painting book and walked away. Still she had a question on her mind. She walked to her dad…

‘Dad, why can’t cows be purple?’

‘Hmmm… Because there are no purple cows’. He said.

She wasn’t satisfied by the answer. She walked to her grandma and asked the same question.

‘Because God didn’t paint them purple’.

She asked so many people…her aunt, uncle, elder brother, grandpa, and no one had a satisfactory answer. She went to her best friend and asked…

‘Hey, why can’t cows be purple? Why are there no purple cows?’

‘Why not… Look, my cow is pink. If I can have a pink cow, you can have purple ones.’

The two girls laughed together, thinking how the grown-ups haven’t got the nerve to do what they want, as they want it.

Her cows are purple, with green horns… And that is that!

So next time your child paints a purple cow, let her do that…

Don’t say, ‘Baby, cows are not of this colour, paint it brown or black or white’, with that patronizing smile.

In their springwell of imagination, in a faraway land of clouds and snow-capped mountains with jade green grasses, graze the cows with purple skin and green horns. These cows can sing and dance and smile and laugh. And your child, she is drawing a cow from that land of wonders. So why bother her with your ordinary cows, when she has an extraordinary world in her mind?

Don’t force them to grow up like us, even before they have to. Once, our mom would have forced us to colour the cow black, not stunning orange, and look where it had brought us – to this place where we have lost most of our creativity, imagination and are shackled in other people’s opinions.

Let your child be what she wants, do what she wants to do. Don’t thrust your opinions, your reasons on her. One day, she will grow up on her own and learn that the cow on the Earth is not purple. Let her live in her childhood until then.

Allow her to revel in her blissful innocence, childishness and purple cows a little longer. There is no urgency to grow up. This world has already enough grown-ups with their cynicism, hatred, with their opinions and wrong righteousness. What this world needs is your child and her purple cow!

Fathima Says – A writer, a wannabe author. A dreamer who dreams with eyes open. I believe in the magic of words, and so I am a part-time magician. A new mommy to this wonderful boy, who slurps all her time. When he finds his dreams in sleep, I spend time with books, and my blog – The Bookworm’s Harbor