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It's Nice to be Needed

One morning LaLa Orange decided not to go to work. "No one ever notices all the care we take adding orange to the worId," she told O.J., her sprite. "All of the other colors get all the attention. You might as well stay home, too...no one will even notice that
we‘re gone."

O.J. had a very worried look on his face as he watched LaLa go into her apartment to crawl back into her cozy orange bed. He knew production of the orange "Star Sprinkles" would be held up without LaLa. And he was right. The next morning in Rainbow Land things seemed awfully strange. lnstead of a bright and beautiful orange sunrise, there was a weak, pale little ray of light in the east. Many of the Color Kids and sprites overslept without the warm, bright sunrise to awaken them.

Once they got up, they discovered their breakfasts didn‘t seem quite right. Their orange juice was clear and their orange marmalade was a strange shade of gray. As the sprites hurried to work that morning, many of them stopped to look for some of their favorite flowers along the way. They just loved to pick luscious orange tiger lilies, mums and goldenrod to cheer them as they worked. But — there were none. Not a single orange flower bloomed anywhere!

By lunchtime, no one in Rainbow Land was feeling very cheerful. And when they all sat down to eat lunch, they discovered there
wasn‘t any orange cheese for their sandwiches. lt was white! "lt just isn’t the same without LaLa Orange to brighten the day,"
Red Butler finally said. "l`m sure she had a good reason for not being here today...but all the same, l sure do miss her."

"So do we!" cried the rest of the Color Kids. Suddenly O.J. sprite appeared. He had been listening to their conversation, and now he was bouncing up and down excitedly. It was obvious he had something important to say — perhaps a clue to LaLa's absence, but no one could understand him.

"Come on, O.J., let's go to Rainbow Brite for help. Her sprite, Twink, is with her, and he can translate what you‘re trying to tell
us." And off they went.

After Twink heard O.J.‘s story, he explained the situation to Rainbow Brite and Red Butler. "Don‘t worry, O.J.," Rainbow Brite told him. "We’ll have to get everyone together and convince LaLa how much we need her."

That evening everyone gathered outside LaLa`s apartment. Rainbow Brite knocked on the door...and a very sad LaLa Orange
came to answer it. When LaLa saw all her friends gathered outside, she couldn‘t believe her eyes!

"We miss you, LaLa!" they all cried. "We didn‘t have a warm orange sunrise to awaken us...or colorful orange juice for breakfast. . .or orange marmalade for our toast...or fIowers...or cheese! Our whole day was sad and gloomy without your bright and happy touch!‘

"Gosh!" LaLa blushed. "l didn‘t even think you'd notice that l was gone."

"We sure did!" said Rainbow Brite. "And we need you to come back to us and bring your beautiful orange color to our world

That evening in Rainbow Land, there was the brightest, most beautiful, glowing sunset that anyone had ever seen.

"l‘ve learned a lesson from all this," LaLa told O.J. and the Color Kids. "Everyone has something important to give to the world...
even mel"

"That‘s right!" said Red Butler. And all around you could see bright, happy faces reflecting the sunset‘s warm glow.


1997-2021 Katy Cartee Haile
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