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Daltonism


Nathan was the new kid in school.

He was eleven years old and he was fascinated with a girl in his class named Abbi Dalton.

She had red hair, and she wore green glasses.

On Friday morning Miss Singleparty, the art teacher, walked into the classroom wearing a summer dress and sandals.

"Good morning class," she greeted them.

"Today we're making wall art to wrap around the room."

"We need a fresh new look for spring," she told them.

"We're going to concentrate on tropical scenes today, so let's begin by painting sunny beaches with palm trees, shall we?" she suggested.

Paper and paint pots had already been set out on each of the room's worktables.

Miss Singleparty had expected the children to paint the fronds of the palm trees green, but Nathan noticed that for some reason Abbi had painted her palm trees red.

The art teacher noticed that too.

Miss Singleparty clapped her hands in the air.

"Stop everyone!," she called out.

"Which clown has deliberately swapped the paint pots around?" she demanded.

The red paint pot at Abbi's table was sitting in a saucer marked "Green".

Some of the kids sniggered.

Miss Singleparty sighed with exasperation.

"You know very well that Abbi is colour blind. Stupidity seems to be affecting you people," she said.

"I know who the culprit is!" she glared at one of the boys, and the room went quiet.

"Behave!" she told him. "Or you'll visit the headmaster."

At lunch time, Abbi sat on the veranda, knitting with green wool.

Nathan stood nearby, leaning on the veranda rail, watching the other kids rush around the playground. He'd twisted his ankle at football practise and was out of action today.

From the corner of his eye he saw Abbi stop clicking the needles and hold out her handiwork, like she was admiring it.

He wanted an excuse to talk to her.

He wasn't interested in knitting, so he stopped munching his muesli bar and instead he asked her about colour blindness.

Abbi told him she had red/green colour vision impairment. She said colour blindness was more common in men, an X chromosome thing that affects 0.5 per cent of women, and eight per cent of men.

Nathan didn't understand how colour blindness affected Abbi's vision. He wondered if she thought her glasses were red, and her hair green, instead of vice versa.

 

"Abbi, can you tell when the traffic lights change colour?" he inquired curiously.

"Yes, the one that is lit goes brighter. And red is above green," she responded.

"I don't have a problem with that. Nor does my dad," she assured him.

"Is he colour blind too?" Nathan asked her.

"Yes, that's how I got it," she explained. "You see, for a girl to be colorblind, she needs to get two copies of the gene that leads to color blindness -- one from her Mum and one from her Dad. My Dad's colour blind and my Mum carried the gene. They passed it on to me."

"How did they find out that you had it?" Nathan wanted to know.

"When I was little I kept mixing up my coloured blocks," she told him.

"And I had an awful time making a beaded necklace," she added. "I couldn't work out the colours. Later on they had me do a test with numbers."

 

  Abbi pushed her glasses higher up her nose.

"Do your eyes hurt?" he asked her.

"A bit," she admitted. "And sometimes I get headaches."

"What are you knitting," he asked curiously.

"Football socks."

"What for?"

"Father's Day - for a surprise. Here..." she said, tossing a sock at him. He politely admired it. It had green and black stripes.

Abbi lived on the same street as Nathan, just two doors away. Nathan and his Mum had recently moved into the house on the corner.

He'd seen Abbi's Dad getting into his CRV. He recalled that her Dad had been wearing football team colours, and that her Dad's hat and jumper had been red and black.


 Abbi was halfway up the second sock and Nathan thought she should be making red and black socks for her dad, not green.

He didn't know how to tell her. She might get upset, he worried.

Anyway, right then, the school bell rang, so they stopped talking and returned to class.

School was almost over for the week, and Sunday was Father's day.

 

Just before midday on Sunday, Nathan heard Abbi's dad shouting so loudly that half the neighbourhood needed earplugs.

He dashed outside and saw Mr. Dalton throw something in the wheelie bin.

Had he thrown the green socks away? wondered Nathan.

He felt sorry for Abbi. She had worked so hard to make them.

After that, he heard car doors slam and saw the CRV speed off with Abbi and her Mum clinging to their seat belts.

Nathan's dad lived with his new wife near the beach.

His Mum drove him there for a Father's Day visit, then she went shopping with one of her friends.

By the time Nathan and his Mum arrived back home later that evening, all the stars were twinkling in the dark dome of sky.


Nathan wondered if Abbi's family were home. He waited until his mother dozed off in front of the TV then he walked outside. Everything was quiet. Even the dog next door.

The street lights were on, and all the rubbish bins were standing out front, ready for the Monday collection.

Nathan moved towards Abbi's bin. He wanted to see if the green socks were in there, so he could give them back to Abbi.

Suddenly, a shadow moved near the side fence. It made Nathan jump.

A voice said, "Nathan I can see you -- I have excellent night vision you know, I've come out to look at the stars. What are you doing here?"

"Abbi, it's you!" Nathan's heart was thumping. "Well, I live here," he explained. "Well, actually over there," he said, gesturing towards his house.

"Yes, on the corner, I know, I saw you this morning. But what are you doing here at my place?"

"I....uh...Nothing," he said quickly. "Just taking a walk."

"What was your day like?" he inquired. "Father's Day," he clarified.

"Okay, I suppose," she said. "We went to my grandparent's house, the whole family did. Granddad is sick."

She looked away - then down at her shoes, then at his bandage. "Hey! How's your ankle?"

"Much better, thanks."

The conversation was beginning to lag, so Nathan pointed to the bins lined up in the street and told her his theory about them being green creatures from Mars. "They probably transmit messages in the moonlight. Tell each other secrets."

"Like what exactly?" she asked with a smile.

"Like what lies beneath... their lids."

She laughed. "What a weird imagination. Our bin is full of stinky rubbish. I happen to have an excellent sense of smell, so I keep well away from them."

A light came on in the front room of her house and she paused. They both moved into a shadow behind a nearby bush and she reassured him, "Chill, it's only Dad going to his study. He won't bother us."

"Good," Nathan said, making a face. "I don't want to meet him. He drives like a loony!!"

She laughed. "Yeah, he had major meltdown this morning. You'll meet him one day, just don't mention football. Promise!"

"Don't worry, I won't," Nathan assured her. "Besides, his team lost. Their season is over."

"Tell me about it," she rolled her eyes. "Dad so hates losing. He even chucked his hat in the bin."

The hat! So it wasn't the socks Abbi knitted that he threw out, thought Nathan. He felt relieved.

"Guess what?" Abbi enthused. "Aunty Em had a baby this morning! A little girl, so cute! I've been waiting to find out the sex," she said. "Now I can start knitting pink stuff. I'll need help choosing pink... I always mix up pink and grey, especially the light colours," she explained.

"Oh, that reminds me, the green socks that I made were a big success," Abbi told him

"He liked them? Your Dad?"

"Who, Dad? No, they weren't for him, they weren't his teams colours."

She paused. "Oh, Nathan... did you think...?"

"What? What?" Nathan looked up at the moon and tried to change the subject.

She stood, hands on hips, facing him.

"You thought I was making socks in the wrong colours. You did, didn't you?" she realized.

"No... no I didn't," he fibbed awkwardly. "Don't even like knitting," he mumbled.

"Actually, I made them for Aunty Em's husband, Uncle Jez," Abbi told him. "Green and black, his football team colours. A present for his first Father's Day. He's already wearing them," she said happily. "He loves them."

Nathan felt so dumb.

He wished the earth would split open and swallow him. All of him!!

He was so GREEN -- no, make that RED. His neck and face burned with embarrassment.

He stepped a little farther back into the tree shadows to try to hide the fact that he was blushing.

Abbi noticed and doubled up laughing, but a moment later she realized that he had actually been worried about her feelings.

She liked that about him.

She took a deep breath and shyly suggested that since they were neighbours, maybe they should walk to school together.

He nodded agreeably, and told Abbi he'd meet her in front of her house the next morning.

They waved goodnight, and Nathan set out for home.

He glanced up at the stars. It really was an awfully pretty night, he thought happily.

 


Daltonism
by
Christine Tapper
Copyright 2015 - All Rights Reserved


About the Author:
Christine Tapper was born in the UK but raised in Australia. She always loved reading and has written fairytales and other works of fact and fiction. Her stories have been broadcast and entered in competitions. She belongs to a writing club and enjoys writing articles, poetry, and writing for children, Crosswords, especially cryptic ones, consume some of her time. Write to Christine and tell her how much you enjoyed her story.


 

A Bedtime-Story note about forms of SPELLING and different WORDS used in Christine's interesting story:

The author, as noted, was born in the U.K. That's an abbreviation for United Kingdom. The official name of the U.K. is the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". The name refers to the union of what were once four separate nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (though most of Ireland is now independent).The term “Great Britain” refers to the land mass that comprises England, Scotland, and Wales. Most of England, Scotland, and Wales are on the island of Great Britain.

Although many words in the English language have the same sounds and meanings, some are spelled slightly differently in America. Bedtime-Story Editors chose to leave the author's original spelling intact on this tale, as an opportunity to show Christine's readers the interesting differences between a few of those words.
Both spellings are correct.

U.K. - U.S.A.

Practise - Practice

Colours - Colors

Neighbours - Neighbors

 

The English language is spoken in the United Kingdom, Australia and America, as well as in many other countries.
Sometimes countries which speak the same language use completely different words for the same things.


A "jumper" in the U.K. for example, would be called a "sweater" in the U.S. You've likely heard the term "jumper" used in the Harry Potter movies.

The game of "Football" in the U.K. would be the game of "Soccer" in the U.S.

"Sniggered" would be the same as "Snickered" (meaning a sly or poorly suppressed laugh at someone or something in a silly and often unkind way)

"Mum" in the U.K. is typically spelled and pronounced "Mom" in the U.S.

"Rubbish bin" in the U.K. is often a "Trash Can" in the U.S.

"Chucked his hat in the bin," in the U.K., would often be "Tossed his hat in the trash" in the U.S.

A "Headmaster" in the U.K. is similar to a school "Principal" in the U.S.

Muesli bar - Granola bar

Learning about word variations of the same language in other countries is interesting, isn't it?

DEFINITIONS:

Chromosomes: (Say: kro-muh-soamz) Your body is made up of billions of cells, which are too small to see without a strong microscope. Inside most of those cells are chromosomes, which are thread-like strands that contain hundreds, or even thousands, of genes. Genes determine physical traits, such as the color of your eyes, the color of your hair, how tall you're going to be when you grow up, whether or not you'll have freckles, the length of each of your toes, and lots of other things, including the possibility of inheriting color blindness. Most people have 23 pairs of chromosomes, and you received half your chromosomes from your mother and the other half from your father. Even after you're born, your 46 chromosomes continue to guide the way your body grows and develops.

Concentrate - Pay especially close attention

Culprit - The guilty one, the one who has been misbehaving

Fib - To not tell the truth

Impairment - Impair means to impede (stop, prevent, or slow something down) in some way. Here it implies (or suggests) Vision impairment - which is to say, Abbi is unable to see something. She cannot see certain colors.

Lag - Slow down

Veranda - A roofed, open-air porch, partly enclosed by a railing

There's now a solution for red-green color-blindness:




INTERIM ILLUSTRATIONS: Courtesy of BEDTIME-STORY.com
This tale is available for artist Illustration


Learn More About Color Blindness

Color blindness, or color vision deficiency, is the inability or decreased ability to see color, or perceive color differences, under normal lighting conditions. Color blindness affects a significant percentage of the population. There is no actual blindness but there is a deficiency of color vision.

The first scientific paper on this subject, "Extraordinary Facts Relating To The Vision Of Colours," was published by the English chemist John Dalton in 1798 after the realization of his own color blindness.

A SILVER LINING -- Some color blind people can see things that other people cannot see: Color blindness is usually classified as a mild disability, however there are occasional circumstances where it can give an advantage. Some studies conclude that color blind people are better at penetrating certain color camouflages. There is also a study suggesting that people with some types of color blindness can distinguish colors that people with normal color vision are not able to distinguish. - Source: Wikipedia

EXAMPLES


Protanopia and deuteranopia are very similar, but there is a subtle
difference between the two if you look very carefully.

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Submission of short story DALTONISM
From: "Christine & Ron"
Date: Sat, November 29, 2014 11:44 pm
To: bedtime-story - "I have read, understand, and agree to abide by the requirements for inclusion as specified on the Bedtime-Story.com SUBMISSION INSTRUCTION page. If my submission should be selected, I grant permission for its inclusion." - Christine Tapper Nov. 29, 2014 goodimpressions (AT) westnet(dot)com(dot)au