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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Life in the City

Katarina lived in a big city with a lot of tall buildings. There was a lot of noise in the city. People shouted at each other, cars honked their horns and mamas dragged their crying children to the shops.

Katarina's favorite place to go was to her bedroom. She would shut the door and windows and play with her dolls and teddy bear.

Her mama kept busy painting. She was an artist and sold many of her works to museums and art galleries. Katarina's papa owned a bakery and had to leave early in the mornings to make bread and pastries for his customers.

One day Katarina's mama knocked on the bedroom door. “Katarina, I want to paint your portrait. Will you put on your prettiest clothes and bring your teddy.”

Katarina giggled with joy. She was happy that her mama was going to paint a picture of her. She put on her prettiest dress. It was red with lace and ribbons. She placed a small hat on top of her black hair and wore her shiniest black shoes. She grabbed her teddy and followed Mama down the street. “Where are we going, Mama? I wanted to stay inside today. It's noisy out here.”

Katarina's mama smiled. “You'll see in a few moments.” She led her daughter out of the city. “There! This is where I want you to stand. I want the city in the background. Look at the colored roof tops.”

Katarina turned to look. “Some are blue some are red and others are black, gold and green. It's beautiful, Mama. I've never noticed that before.”

“You're beautiful, Katarina,” Mama said. “You shouldn't hide from the world because you think it's noisy. Listen to the sounds of the children's laughter. Listen to the people talking with each other. Now smile for your mama and let's paint that portrait.”

After Mama had finished, they walked back home. Instead of plugging her ears, she listened to the noises of the city and smiled.

When the painting dried, Mama put it up on the wall. “That's your best painting yet,” Papa said.

Every time Katarina went into the living room, she stopped to look at the picture. Sometimes she stood at the window and looked out at the buildings and the bustling crowds. Instead of staying in her room all the time, she took her teddy and went for walks around the city. “I love the city,” she said and gave her teddy a hug.

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