Katarina lived in a big city with a lot of tall
buildings. There was a lot of noise in the city. People shouted at each
other, cars honked their horns and mamas dragged their crying children
to the shops.
Katarina's favorite place to go was to her bedroom.
She would shut the door and windows and play with her dolls and teddy
Her mama kept busy painting. She was an artist and
sold many of her works to museums and art galleries. Katarina's papa
owned a bakery and had to leave early in the mornings to make bread and
pastries for his customers.
One day Katarina's mama knocked on the bedroom door.
“Katarina, I want to paint your portrait. Will you put on your prettiest
clothes and bring your teddy.”
Katarina giggled with joy. She was happy that her
mama was going to paint a picture of her. She put on her prettiest
dress. It was red with lace and ribbons. She placed a small hat on top
of her black hair and wore her shiniest black shoes. She grabbed her
teddy and followed Mama down the street. “Where are we going, Mama? I
wanted to stay inside today. It's noisy out here.”
Katarina's mama smiled. “You'll see in a few
moments.” She led her daughter out of the city. “There! This is where I
want you to stand. I want the city in the background. Look at the
colored roof tops.”
Katarina turned to look. “Some are blue some are red
and others are black, gold and green. It's beautiful, Mama. I've never
noticed that before.”
“You're beautiful, Katarina,” Mama said. “You
shouldn't hide from the world because you think it's noisy. Listen to
the sounds of the children's laughter. Listen to the people talking with
each other. Now smile for your mama and let's paint that portrait.”
After Mama had finished, they walked back home.
Instead of plugging her ears, she listened to the noises of the city and
When the painting dried, Mama put it up on the wall.
“That's your best painting yet,” Papa said.
Every time Katarina went into the living room, she
stopped to look at the picture. Sometimes she stood at the window and
looked out at the buildings and the bustling crowds. Instead of staying
in her room all the time, she took her teddy and went for walks around
the city. “I love the city,” she said and gave her teddy a hug.