Mr. Winston's Ice Cream Palace was home to the most amazing flavours of ice
cream that could ever be imagined. There was creamy, dreamy Cotton Candy ice cream that melted smoothly on the tongue and left a sweet aftertaste that lingered like a pleasant memory. There was savoury Strawberry Surprise that tasted like a celebration in the mouth. There was delicious Double Fudge, wonderful Walnut Cream and tasty Tangerine-Orange. And there was Vanilla.
Vanilla didn't have any yummy swirls of caramel like the other ice creams. Vanilla didn't have any cool colours to attract the customers. Vanilla didn't even have any chewy bits of candy or cookies or nuts inside. Vanilla was just vanilla. Most people didn't choose Vanilla when they came into Mr. Winston's Ice Cream Palace. They chose the flavours the brightest colours and the crunchiest candy inside. And if they did choose Vanilla, they often didn't even call her that...they called her "Plain." Vanilla didn't like being called "Plain."
One day the ice cream store received some news: Mr. Winston was coming to the Ice Cream Palace! Mr. Winston was the owner of Mr. Winston's Ice Cream Palace. He made all the ice cream himself. He was famous for making his delicious Mr. Winston Ice Creamo Dreamo Supremo Sundaes...the best ice cream in town. A Mr. Winston Ice Creamo Dreamo Supremo Sundae was a rare and special treat...it would take a very special ice cream to make one.
One day, word got out to the ice cream flavours that Mr. Winston was coming to the Ice Cream Palace and he was going to make a Mr. Winston Ice Creamo Dreamo Supremo Sundae. They chattered excitedly amongst themselves, wondering which lucky flavour would be chosen.
"Isn't it obvious?" Said Peanut Butter Cup, "I'M the most popular ice cream here. Who else could it be but me?"
Vanilla didn't argue. Peanut Butter Cup WAS very popular. She had even seen kids throwing themselves on the floor and screaming when Peanut Butter Cup was sold out. No one screamed for Vanilla ice cream when she was sold out. Then again, she rarely ever was sold out.
"Get real," said Rainbow Swirl, "It's going to be me. I'm easily the prettiest of them all."
Vanilla didn't argue. Rainbow Swirl always caught the customers' eyes. They barely looked at Vanilla.
It was Bubble Gum Bliss' turn to speak.
"Well personally, I don't need to be bothered with being turned into a Mr. Winston's Ice Creamy Dreamy Thingy-wingy sundae...I'M perfect just the way I am."
Vanilla didn't argue. Bubble Gum Bliss had awesome bits of bubble gum inside that delighted the customers. Vanilla was just plain vanilla through and through...no tasty, tiny treats inside for her.
The conversation was brought to a halt when they heard the sound of the bell above the door jingling. In stepped Mr. Winston himself. Vanilla shivered with excitement as he stepped up to the counter to examine the ice cream. His bright green eyes peered at the flavours keenly.
"Hmm, let's see...who would be the perfect ice cream for my sundae?" He muttered.
"That would be me, sir!" Peanut Butter Cup declared. "You need an ice cream that is popular, and that's definitely me."
Mr. Winston smiled but did not say a word.
"Excuse me, Mr. Winston," Rainbow Swirl piped up,
"What you really need is a bright, pretty ice cream...one with four colours and looks kind of like a rainbow..."
Mr. Winston's eyes fell upon Bubble Gum Bliss.
"How about you?" he said, "Do you think you have what it takes to be a Mr. Winston Ice Creamo Dreamo Supremo Sundae?"
Bubble Gum Bliss snorted rudely and replied,
"My good sir, I already have everything I need to be perfect. I don't need you to change me because I don't need to be changed."
Vanilla could not believe what she was hearing! She'd NEVER turn Mr. Winston down if he asked her! He could turn her into something wonderful, even if she WAS just plain Vanilla! She'd LOVE to be picked, but she knew it wasn't going to happen any time soon. After all, who would want something so dull and ordinary when there were so many other prettier and yummier flavours out there to choose from?
Suddenly, she noticed that Mr. Winston's eye was on her. There was a big smile on his face that made his large white moustache curl up at the ends.
"And I suppose YOU think you're special enough to be a Mr. Winston Ice Creamo Dreamo Supremo Sundae?" he asked.
Vanilla laughed softly.
"Oh no sir!" she exclaimed, "You wouldn't want a plain, boring old flavour like me. I don't have any cool colours to show off or crunchy bits of candy to offer you. People like me okay but I'm not usually anyone's favourite, and most of the time I don't get chosen. All I could give you would be me, just the way I am, but you deserve a much better flavour."
Mr. Winston didn't say anything for the longest time. When he finally spoke, his green eyes were sparkling, like lime Kool-Aid.
"What if I told you that I would give you everything you needed to be the most delicious ice cream ever: all the caramel, peanuts, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and marshmallows you needed? What if you were to become a spectacular flavour because I could make you that way if you trusted me? What would you say?"
Vanilla would have smiled a big smile if she had a mouth and teeth.
"I would say that it's a dream come true," she answered.
So Mr. Winston's Ice Cream Palace became home to the best Mr. Winston Ice Creamo Dreamo Supremo sundae ever. Plain Vanilla was chosen not because she was the prettiest ice cream, or the most popular, or the one with the coolest candy, but because she was willing to let the master of ice cream make her into what HE wanted for her. And when the other flavours in the Ice Cream Palace saw the most magnificent Mr. Winston Ice Creamo Dreamo Supremo sundae in the world, they knew that she was anything but plain.
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Excellent analogy! This is my favourite article, and an encouragement as well. - Graeme Friesen
Yes, I agree with Kim - this is a superb story. I can also see this as a childrens book, complete with pictures!!
I have a big smile on my face after reading this article! It instantly brought mind Max Lucado's children's big called "You are special" that used a simple story to make an important point. I could easily see this turned into a children's book. Can you imagine the illustrations that could go into it? Children would eat it up...literally! Thanks for such a wonderful story. You really should try to get this published.