Kevin Tolman: Circus Comes to Town, courtesy Karan Ruhlen Gallery

One sunny day, long ago in New Mexico, there was a lonely gray lizard that lived in a colorful park. He was walking in the park watching the blue jay, named Jay. Jay was flying in the air with his pretty colorful blue wings. The gray lizard, whose name was Michael, was also looking at the bright flowers, and he also saw Fred, the green frog jumping in the grass. He watched as the bees danced around the flower patch. Michael wished he would be noticeable like the others. They all had pretty colors. He was sad and thought to himself, no one noticed me.

That day, Michael went to see Owl the Wizard. Michael asked the owl, “Can I have a beautiful blue tail?” Owl thought for a minute, and said, “Well, I am going to send you on a quest. You will need to go ask all of the other animals in the park how they get their beautiful colors.” Michael told the owl that would be hard, because the other animals don’t notice him. Owl told Michael that he needed to do his best in order to receive a blue tail. Michael thought to himself for a minute and said, “I can do this!” So off he went.

So Michael met up with Jay, who was collecting branches for his nest. Michael asked Jay, “How did you get your beautiful blue feathers?” Jay said, “Because that is the color of the sky.” Michael walked off shrugging his shoulders not understanding Jay’s response.

Michael walked over to the flower patch. He noticed water running through the area and saw pink, yellow, and red flowers everywhere. Michael asked one red flower, “How did you get your beautiful color?” The flower answered, “With the help of the sun and the bees.” Michael walked off very confused.

Michael saw the green frog, Fred, in the distance on a lily pad in the pond. As he walked closer to the pond, he noticed Fred was catching bugs. He asked Fred, “How did you get your beautiful green color?” Fred said, “Because I love the feel of the wet green grass on my skin.” Michael still did not understand as he walked away.

Michael returned to Owl the Wizard and told him what all the animals had to say. Jay got his colors from the beautiful sky, the flowers had help from the bees and the sun, and Fred the frog loved the green grass. The little gray lizard was still confused, and Owl explained to him, “If you believe in yourself, your true colors will coming shining through.”

Michael thought for a moment and then got excited. He just realized he went around to all the animals in the park and lost his shyness to speak to them. The animals noticed him for the first time when he was asking them questions about their colors, and they were very nice to him. He got happy and felt a warm feeling in his heart, as he realized he had met new friends that day. Michael looked down at his tail and noticed it had a beautiful blue color. He got excited and started running through the park, happy as a lizard could be. Michael yelled out at all his friends in the park, “It’s a beautiful day!” His friends, Jay, the flowers, and Fred looked back at Michael and said, “Wow! You are the beautiful Blue Tailed Lizard!”

Elizabeth Deaguero, age twelve, is a seventh-grade student Capshaw Middle School.

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