"Then she told me she was color-blind," Mariah said as the two girls walked along.
"What is color-blind?" Charlotte asked.
"That's a word," Mariah explained, "for dolls who don't see colors the same way as everyone else. I think they are made that way."
"That's interesting," Charlotte said.
"Yes," Mariah agreed. "I looked it up. Dolls who have red-green color-blindness can't tell the difference between red and green."
"That would make it difficult to pick out your favorite kind of apple," Charlotte said thoughtfully.
"Yes," Mariah agreed. "It could make it hard to pick out your clothes, too.
"Then there is the kind of color-blindness where dolls can't tell the difference between yellow and blue," Mariah explained, as the dolls climbed up the front steps to the house.
"Well," Charlotte said. "At least there are no blue apples, but you could still have a problem picking out your clothes."
"Just imagine," Mariah said, "if Veronika couldn't tell the difference between red and green or yellow and blue when she was picking colors for a quilt!"
"The quilt could look ugly," Charlotte agreed, "at least to everyone but Veronika. It's a good thing Veronika isn't color-blind."
"Or Billy!" Mariah exclaimed. "Billy would have a terrible time getting his photos to look right."
"There is a test for each kind of color-blindness," Mariah said. "They show you a picture made up of little blobs of the different colors, and you see something in it, like a number or an animal, if you can see those colors."
"Then there are dolls who can't see any color at all," Mariah went on, remembering what she had read.
"Life would be like a black-and-white movie," Charlotte said, closing the front door.
The girls put their books down on the stairs by the front door and took off their masks.
"It's too bad Lucy is color-blind," Charlotte said with a sigh.
"But she isn't really," Mariah said. "It turns out that that wasn't what she meant at all."
"What did she mean, then?" Charlotte asked, puzzled.
"I asked her about it," Mariah explained. "She said she meant she didn't see color when she looks at me. She meant she doesn't see me as a different color from her other friends."
"But you are!" Charlotte said. "Your vinyl is like a bar of milk chocolate. How could she not see that?"
"I think," Mariah said, "that she was trying to say it didn't matter that I'm black."
Charlotte looked at Mariah. She thought she looked a little sad. "That bothers you, doesn't it?" she asked her friend.
"Yes," Mariah agreed. "See, if it doesn't matter to her that I am the color I am, then she must think there is something wrong with my color, but she likes me anyway."
"I see what you mean," Charlotte agreed. "You wish she thought it was wonderful that you're black!"
Charlotte thought about that for a moment. "But it's wonderful that you're the color of a bar of milk-chocolate," she said. "I remember when Veronika brought you in to meet us when you first came. All I could think of was how beautiful you were!"
"And that was before I knew you," Charlotte went on. "Now that we're best friends, of course, I think you're even more beautiful! I've thought about how I almost didn't meet you! You see, the stories needed you before we knew you, because we didn't have a doll who was a different color," Charlotte explained.
"Real children come in different colors," Charlotte said, "so dolls do, too. Real children read the stories, and they like some of the stories to be about dolls who are like them in some way. If you hadn't been chocolate, you would not have come to live with us. Then I would not have had you as my best friend!"
"You know," Charlotte said thoughtfully, "I think Lucy was trying to be nice. Lucy is my color. I think she does see you the way you are, but she has also seen how some of the other dolls at school picked on you. She knows it was because someone who doesn't know any better told them that they are better than you are just because of the color of their vinyl. I think she was trying to say she doesn't feel that way."
"Maybe you're right," Mariah agreed. "Lucy and I get along well, and we like a lot of the same things. She's a good friend."
"Yes," Charlotte agreed. "Maybe she just doesn't know how to say what she means, because her experience is different from yours."
"Yes, I can see that," Mariah agreed. "I'm glad I have you to talk things over with, Charlotte," she said. "I feel better now."
"I'm glad to have you to talk things over with, too, Mariah," Charlotte agreed. "It's good to have a best friend." Then Mariah remembered that Charlotte had told her that Rosh Hashanah, one of Charlotte's special holidays, was starting. "Shanah tovah, Charlotte," she said.
"Thank you, Mariah," Charlotte replied. "You're sweet to remember!"
Mariah was quiet for a moment. She was thinking. "I wonder if Emil is color-blind," she said finally. "He said he doesn't know if he sees things the same way we do with his special glasses."
"Let's go show him the test pictures," Charlotte said. "We can find out!"
Veronika: Götz Classic Kidz Vroni
Charlotte: Götz Happy Kidz Anna in Paris
Mariah: Götz Happy Kidz Mariah, "Chosen" from My Doll Best Friend
Billy: Götz Happy Kidz Lily at London
Note: No dolls were harmed during production of this blog. All dolls shown are Götz Happy Kidz or Classic Kidz. If you like these stories and are willing, please make a donation of any amount to a charity that supports pediatric cancer, such as CURE Childhood Cancer, St. Baldrick's Foundation or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"The Doll's Storybook" is not affiliated with Gotz Dolls USA Inc. or Götz Puppenmanufaktur International GmbH.
Watch for the next story each Friday afternoon at 2:00 PM Pacific Time.