There was once a girl named Red Phillips.
Red didn’t like her name. Kids at school teased her about it, kids who had names like Kayla and Joel and Stephanie.
“What kind of a name is red?” They would squawk. “I’ve never heard anything so stupid!”
Red would walk away, to sit alone on a swing. She would pretend that the kids’ mean words didn’t hurt her, but inside they did.
The words hurt more than anything.
One night, after a particularly bad day of teasing, Red decided that she would change her name. She thought long and hard over choosing a new, better name and finally settled for Jennie.
“Don’t call me Red” she told her brother at breakfast the next morning.
“Don’t call me Red,” she told her teacher.
“Don’t call me Red,” she told the kids at recess.
“Don’t call me Red,” she told the bus driver on the way home.
“Don’t call me Red,” she told her mother when she got home.
Her mother helped her hang up her backpack and folded her warm arms around Red. “Why? I think Red is a beautiful name.”
Red looked up into her mother’s loving blue eyes. “You do?”
“Yes,” her mother told her.
“Because red is the colour of the sunset and satin.
Red is the colour of roses and a warm woollen mitten.
Red is the colour of cold crisp apples, handpicked from the trees.
Red is the colour of crunchy autumn leaves.
Red is the colour of strawberries in the sunshine.
Red is the colour of precious rubies from a mine.
Red is the colour of our very blood.
Red symbolises Strength and Courage and Love.”
“And we named you Red because we love you, Red darling. Don’t you think your name means so much more than Kayla or Joel or Stephanie?”
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