November Tales: ‘lil Ari’s Lemonade

Once upon a time in a classroom in a little school surrounded by the most green forest, ‘lil Ari was excited. He loved to learn about math and science. He loved to hear the stories the teacher would tell him about Zeus and Hercules. But that isn’t what ‘lil Ari was excited about today, oh no! Today his teachers said they would get to vote on the drink all the little boys and little girls would get to drink all year!

‘Lil Ari learned in class that voting was important. It was the one time your voice would be heard and you got to help make the big decisions that would affect everyone around you, even if you weren’t friends with them! For a whole week the teacher told the class that it was your duty to vote and that if you didn’t vote you’d have no right to complain.
‘Lil Ari didn’t want to complain!
The teacher said that voting changes things, that it helps make people happy.
‘Lil Ari like to be happy!
The teacher said voting allows your opinion to be heard, that you can help shape your world.
Well, ‘lil Ari wanted to shape the world!

The big voting day came and all the little boys and all the little girls were so excited! The teacher sat them on the rug in the morning and said, “Alright boys and girls, today we are going to vote on the drink you will drink everyday for the whole school year! These are your choices: yellow lemonade and pink lemonade!”
The children started talking among themselves and some got really excited, one little boy jumped up and yelled, “I LOVE PINK LEMONADE!!” and a little girl rose up and said, “NO! Yellow is BETTER!”
“Children, children, calm down and listen. I see that some of you have a strong feeling about a certain type, and some of you look like you are unsure. So today, it is up to the students who feel really strong about a particular lemonade to convince the others to vote for what you want.” All the little children smiled.
Well, all except for ‘lil Ari who raised his hand.
“But teacher, I don’t like lemonade. I like ice tea. I want to vote for ice tea.”
“Now, Ari, that’s not a choice, you have to vote for pink lemonade or yellow lemonade. This classroom has always voted for either pink lemonade or yellow lemonade.”
“But, they’re both lemonade. That isn’t a choice!” he exclaimed.
She countered, “Not a choice! Not a choice?! One is pink and the other is yellow! That is a choice and those are the only choices you have!”
“But they both taste the same and.. and… Well, I like ice tea!” he said realizing she didn’t understand him.
All the little boys and girls murmured to each other, “He’s crazy, yellow lemonade is sour!” and “Pink lemonade is way to sweet!” and of course “We’ll show him the best way!”

So the rest of the day all the little children made posters and little skits to try and convince the others to choose the better lemonade. All the while ‘lil Ari sat in the middle listening to his classmates state their case.
“Yellow lemonade is better for the classroom, it produces less stain if it spills!” said a little girl.
“Pink lemonade is better, the color is easy on the eyes!” exclaimed a little boy.
But soon, the children began to get mean and began to take liberty with the truth.
“If you vote for yellow lemonade, that is the same as saying you want kittens to die! Are you a kitten killer?” a little boy said while holding a poster of a little girl drinking lemonade with a dead kitten in her fist.
“If you vote for pink lemonade you’re saying that you are in favor of a shorter recess!” said a little girl who knew deep down inside she was lying, just to get people to follow her.

Oh, how ‘lil Ari was was frustrated! Why didn’t they understand that they were all voting for lemonade, and besides lemonade had nothing to do with kittens, or stains, or even recess!

After lunch it was time to vote. All the little children were excited and each of them got a lolly pop after they voted. After all the ballots were cast, one little girl sucking on a lolly pop noticed that ‘lil Ari didn’t have a lolly to suck on.
“Ari, why don’t you have a lolly pop? Don’t you like candy?”
“Oh, I love candy, but I don’t like lemonade.”
“But, but, there were two kinds to choose from.”
“They were the same, and ice tea is much more refreshing.”
The little girl looked at him with an expression of confusion and fear. Confusion because she didn’t understand why he didn’t act like everyone else and fear because difference was something she didn’t understand. And like confusion and fear so often do, they turned into something else: anger.
“Ari, we can’t be friends anymore! I can’t believe you didn’t vote! Drinks are important, we have them everyday! I mean, don’t you care about kittens? I never thought you were a kitten killer!”

‘Lil Ari was quiet as she stomped off and left him alone. She went and told the other children that he was in favor of kittens being murdered and ‘lil Ari became friendless.

A few weeks later the same little girl who voted for pink lemonade was in the play yard sipping from a glass of pink lemonade was overheard saying. “Eww, it’s too sweet, next year I’m going to vote for yellow lemonade.”

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~ by ambur on November 2, 2010.

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