Once upon a time, there was an orange. He was a very grumpy orange. Everyday, he woke up in the morning and grumped about in his big white house.

“WHY DON’T PEOPLE LIKE ME,” he bellowed, to no one in particular. He picked up his magic telephone and shouted to the world, “I AM THE BEST. DON’T LISTEN TO THOSE WHO WOULD TELL YOU OTHERWISE.” The orange cared very deeply about what people thought of him, and he was not having a very good day. This made him very grumpy.

The orange had a very important job. He was the Mayor of Happytown. It was a wonderful land filled with all different kinds of fruits and vegetables: some were purple, some were pink, and some were orange like him.

He liked the other orange fruit most of all. A few oranges liked him, too! But not all of them. In fact, none of the other fruits and vegetables in Happytown liked him very much at all. And this made the orange very sad, and very grumpy.

“WHY DON’T PEOPLE LIKE ME,” he bellowed, to no one in particular.

Happytown had always been a very welcoming place. But as soon as the grumpy orange moved in to the big white house, he started to change all that.

“WE MUST PROTECT OURSELVES FROM THESE SPICY FOODS,” he bellowed, to no one in particular. A few oranges liked this very much, for they, too, were very afraid of spicy food.

But the other fruits and vegetables were sad and confused. Why is he so afraid of spicy food, they said. Happytown has lots of different kinds of food. It’s what makes our town so special. 

But the grumpy orange pressed on. “WE NEED TO STOP THE AVOCADOS FROM COMING HERE,” he bellowed, to no one in particular. “I WILL BUILD A WALL TO KEEP THEM OUT.”

This made his scared little group of oranges very happy. But the rest of the fruits and vegetables were very puzzled. We like avocados, they said. Avocados are part of what makes Happytown so happy. 

But the grumpy orange pressed on. He stopped spicy foods and avocados from coming to Happytown. Soon enough, the pink and purple fruits and vegetables that lived in Happytown began to fear that they, too, might not be welcome.

Other kinds of food that would sometimes come to visit Happytown stopped coming. There’s nothing interesting to see in Happytown anymore, they said. It’s just a bunch of oranges.

And so Happytown wasn’t happy anymore.

Then one day, one of the scared little oranges who was once so happy with the Mayor looked around at Happytown. He looked out his window and saw nothing but a sea of sad, scared little oranges. Oh no, he said to himself, look at where our fear has lead us. What have we done.

He decided that he did not want to be afraid anymore. He talked to his fellow oranges. Remember when we all used to work together to make Happytown so happy? They nodded solemnly. It’s not too late, he saidWe can make this town happy again.

So the oranges joined hands with the pink and purple fruits and vegetables. They marched together to the big white house, singing and smiling, walking happily side-by-side. They demanded that the grumpy orange put things back the way they were. “WE ARE NOT AFRAID ANYMORE,” they said.

The very grumpy orange looked out over the sea of smiling faces, fruits and vegetables of all sizes and colors holding hands and singing on his lawn.

“WHAT’S GOING ON HERE,” he bellowed, to no one in particular. “WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY LIKE ME.”

But the crowd that had gathered on the white house lawn couldn’t hear his grumpy words. They were too busy laughing, smiling, and singing together. Holding hands. As one, big, Happytown.


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