Once upon a time I went to a birthday party. They gave out all different colored balloons. I got a blue one. But I wanted the bright red one that Suzy got. I put up a great big fuss until they gave me a red one just like Suzy's. But then something very strange happened.

As soon as I got that bright red balloon in my hand, it wasn't so bright red anymore. I thought the balloon must have had a problem or something, but then...

The same thing happened with the pretty pink jacket I wanted incredibly badly. Just as soon as my mother finally bought it for me, it must have changed color or something. I couldn't figure out why it wasn't that pretty, pretty pink anymore.

And then there was the day when the Luscious Lollipop, Most Marvelous Markers, and even the Totally Riveting Rainbow Colored Ices I had had major tantrums for, all changed color on me - immediately after I had them in my hands. Something was definitely going on. But I didn't know what.

Then that night I had a dream. I dreamed I was in Rainbow Colored Land. All over the place were lots of make-believe boys and girls. And they were all holding tons of toys and games and ices and candy and more stuff like that. And everything was rainbow colored! It was raining there, and it looked even more pretty that way because the raindrops were colored sprinkles that just made Rainbow Colored Land sparkle even more.

There was a funny rainbow colored clown there, holding hundreds of rainbow balloons. I walked up to him, and picked out my very favorite one. But the moment I had it in my hand - oh no - it started losing its colors.

A sparkling rainbow princess was standing at the entrance to her rainbow palace. She had loads of rainbow ice cream cones to give out. I ran towards her as fast as I could, and grabbed the most sparkling cone I saw, but then - I'm sure you guessed it - all of the sparkling colors just started melting away before my very eyes.

Quickly, quickly, I tried to grab everything that I possibly could in Rainbow Colored Land. I grabbed rainbow licorice sticks, rainbow ribbons, such beautiful rainbow dolls, and even rainbow chewing gum. But right away all their colors started disappearing!

"Please! Please!" I called, "Don't go away rainbow colors!" And the colors stopped disappearing.

"THANK YOU! THANK YOU!" I shouted. Do you know what happened then? ALL the wonderful rainbow colors came back. And they were sparkling more than ever before. Even the rainbow balloon and rainbow ice cream cone that I still had in my hands became as bright and shiny as could be!

I tried it again and again, and it worked each time. As long as I said "thank you" whenever I got something, it kept its rainbow sparkle.

And get this - if the colors started to go away later on - after awhile - all I had to do was say "thank you" even just inside of my heart - and then suddenly all the rainbow colors would burst back to life!

"THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!" I shouted. And then I opened my eyes.

There was my Mom, standing right next to my bed. She was looking at me in a very funny way.

"Did I hear you say what I think I heard you say?" she asked. "Did you actually say 'thank you'? I didn't even know you knew those two words until now!"

I rubbed my eyes, and smiled up at my mother. Oh! I sure knew those words now. And I knew what they could do too. But... was Rainbow Colored Land just a dream - or was it real? I had to find out.

When my mother went out of my room, still puzzled, I walked over to my window and looked out.

It was raining outside.

And the rain didn't look at all like colored sprinkles falling down. But then I tried it. I said "thank you" very softly someplace inside my heart. And oh. The world began to sparkle!