The Little Blue Pencil

little blue pencil

The Little Blue Pencil

Once upon a time there was a little blue pencil. He was a little 3H grade so that his lead was kind of hard and the mark he made on the paper was a bit lighter than some of the other pencils. He liked thinking that he could make a nice drawing along with some of the other pencils.

He lived in an art supply store in a little container with a bunch of other pencils on a shelf toward the back of the art supply shop and was happy.

Then one day a lady bought him as a present for her little boy. She also bought a lot of other art supplies that day including a nice box of crayons. One of the big boxes with lots and lots of crayons in it.

She brought home all the art supplies and gave them to her little boy. He was very excited, and you know how little boys can be, he quickly opened up all the art supplies. The nicely wrapped up pencils, the box of crayons, the special paper that his Mom had bought for him to make drawings on.

Opened Them All

He opened them all up all at once. And started using crayons and pencils and paper and just putting down whatever he could as fast as he could go. He used up all the paper in about 20 minutes and that is when his mother reappeared at the door of his room, hands on hips and in a scolding kind of voice told him,

angry smiley

Do It Now!!!!

"Little boy, I can’t believe you have already used up all the paper I just bought, what on earth has gotten into you? You had enough paper there to last for a month and look you have made marks all over all the papers. Now pick all these things up and put them back into their boxes.”


So the little boy, being a good little boy hurriedly put all the crayons and pencils aback into their boxes, and in his haste, placed the little blue pencil into the box with the crayons.

Now in many stories, this might be where it would end. The little boy would have never drawn another thing in his life and would have gone on to be a lawyer or something. But not this tem.

In a few minutes, the Mom comes back, and apologizes for losing her temper. She had a headache from driving without her sunglasses and she mistakenly took her pain out on her little boy.

Then she told him, you know some of these drawings are kind of cool, how about if we get you started in some art classes on Monday?

Now the little boy, and the little blue pencil are really happy about this, as are all the crayons.

So Monday comes, and the little boy is ready to go and his Mom wants to check his art supplies. She looks and says, "There is a little blue pencil in the box with the crayons, that’s wrong and I want you to fix it."

wrong little blue pencil

Something's Wrong With Me

Now the little blue pencil hears this and thinks, Hmmpf, there must be something wrong with me. I like being in this box with the crayons, I better see if I can be more like a crayon so I can stay here.

So the blue pencil gets taken out of the crayon box and put in with the other pencils.

But when the little boy gets home from art lessons, the Mom checks his supplies and again finds the little blue pencil in the crayon box. This time she is a bit more perturbed. And says, "Little Boy, this is wrong, wrong wrong, I don’t know why you can’t figure this out. The pencil is a pencil not a crayon."

Well, the little pencil is really upset now. He decides that if his life is going to be good he had better become a crayon. So he tries and tries. He thinks crayon thoughts, he tries pretending that he look like a crayon, he even tries moving himself so that he is kind of behind the crayons so the Mom can’t see him.

But all for naught.
He was still a little blue pencil and every time the boy comes home from art class, and the pencil is in the crayon box, the pencil becomes more and more wrong. And nothing he does, can change him from being a blue pencil.

Finally, after 8 weeks of art lessons, the little boy comes home with a gift for his Mom. She meets him at the front door and without even asking him how his lesson went, she starts inspecting his crayon box. Of course, the blue pencil is there, and she is outraged.

"Why, oh why can’t you keep this one little thing straight? You keep getting this wrong and wrong and wrong, and I don’t understand why you can’t get it through your head how wrong this is. What is the matter with you?"

Instead of crumbling into a little sobbing heap on the floor, the little boy takes a deep breath, puts his shoulders back and says,

heart"Mama, the first week we went to class, the teacher told us that making drawings is like taking a piece of our lives, and of our hearts, and putting that inside part of us out into the world for everyone to see our souls."

"She said that when we do that, one of the most important things to do is to own the drawing we create. To show the entire world that this is who we are. She told us that sometimes it is hard to be so brave but that she would help us."

"And she told us that when we make a wonderful drawing that is part of our hearts that we are showing everybody, that we should sign our names on it, so that everybody will know how much love we put into our drawing."

"And every week I put the little blue pencil into the crayon box because I wanted to sign my name on  piece of my heart and this week I did it and I brought it home to give you because I love you."

And sure enough, down there in the corner of the crayon drawing was the little boy’s name, written in his little boy way using the little blue pencil.

So you know the Mom cried, and the little boy cried a little bit too. And so did the little blue pencil, in his best blue pencil kind of way – relieved that he did not have to be a crayon and safe in the knowledge that he was an important part of that drawing.

Here are a couple of thoughts.

If you are a pencil, be a pencil.

If you are a crayon, be a crayon.

It’s all good, and it’s all perfect and you are an important part of the Universe.

And you don’t have to try to be something you are not because you are already wonderful and it is OK for you to love yourself just the way you are.

4 Comments on “The Little Blue Pencil”

  1. Ruth

    What a wonderful story! And oh, what a wonderful art teacher! I do hope you didn’t just make it up and that there are really teachers like that. At school most children are only told to make a perfect drawing to get a perfect grade…

  2. Susan

    OK. This one made me cry. You are SO right. We are all unique individuals. Children need to be taught that they are special BECAUSE of who they are. Another fabulous tale. Thank You.


    1. Michael

      Everyone is beautiful and special and delightful and the Universe is completely filled to the brim with wonderful craeative and unique spirit-filled people. Hooray for that fact. :-)

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