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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis

Jean-Louis stood in front of the canvas. "What should I paint today?" Should I paint some flowers? Perhaps I should paint a landscape with trees, or maybe a still life with a vase and an apple. Such decisions!" He picked up his paints and brush and stared some more.

Two mice came out of the mousehole and watched Jean-Louis. "Pierre, do you think Jean-Louis will paint some flowers today?"

"No, no, no. He painted flowers yesterday. He will probably paint a still life today," Henri said.

"No, Henri, he painted a still life the day before." Pierre twitched his nose.

"Let us stand over here and watch. Now I am curious," Henri said.

Jean-Louise brushed water all over the canvas.

"That is odd. Why is he painting with water?" Henri's tail wiggled back and forth.

Jean-Louis put purple paint all over the top of the canvas.

"Terrible. It is so wet it is running down the painting," Pierre said. His hands flew to his cheeks in surprise. "No, Jean-Louis. Don't do that."

Jean-Louis painted red, yellow, orange and blue on the canvas. The colors ran together into a mess.

"What is he doing, Pierre? He is painting nothing. It's a disaster, I tell you, a disaster." Henri gasped with shock.

When Jean-Louis finished dabbling paint on the canvas, he stood back. "C'est magnifique. So peaceful. So calm. It is my best yet. I shall call it Serenity. " He gathered his paints and walked away, leaving two very confused mice behind.

"Pierre, it is not his best, is it?" Henri ran closer to the painting. "I am not sure, Pierre. It does make me feel calm and peaceful. Et vous?

The other mouse joined Henri. "I feel it too. It is true. This is Jean-Louis's greatest masterpiece." Pierre took Henri's hand. "Let us sit over there and enjoy the painting."

The two mice sat against the wall. Within five minutes they were asleep.

Jean-Louis came back in the room and saw the sleeping mice. He smiled. "C'est bon. It truly is serenity." He winked at the sleeping creatures and disappeared into the other room, leaving them to sleep.

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