The meaning of brown…

“Je déteste le marron.” She screamed at her nanny. Her anger nearing taking over her usual calm demeanor.

“S’il vous plait – cheri…” The nanny begged her to calm down

The English nanny had no idea why this sweet little girl, who she was responsible for, had such an aversion to brown. When she had been called to this job, she had only been told that the parents had met with unexpected disaster.  She discovered that the girl’s guardian the uncle was gone all of the time and wanted little or no contact with his niece.

“Why is he so cruel?” she would shout at the walls of his estate. His niece was like a flower wanting some love so that she could blossom. She was beautiful and smart to be sure.  Like a tender shoot she was afraid of life. Often as she was nearing sleep, the nanny would scoop her up and hold her until she fell into a deep sleep. It was the only time they were allowed to be that close for propriety required that they keep the distance required between a servant and an heiress. This little flower was indeed an heiress.  “Even heiresses need love.” she thought.

Her father had been the CEO of an international company having something to do with computers,  something about clouds, she had been told. All she knew about computers was how to send an e-mail to her daughter in Yorkshire.

“Why is brown such a frightful color to my dear?” She would wonder day after day. She dared not ask her charge. If the uncle were around, she would ask him. One day a post came to the niece. It was short but at least it was addressed to her. “Ma petite niece est vous bien? Votre Oncle.” The nanny was glad for the note; now she had an address. His niece started writing little notes of regard back. She didn’t get anything more in writing but her uncle started sending gifts. The favorite gift was a black and white puppy – fortunately not brown.

The nanny finally got up the nerve to write a short card. ” I have been so grateful for the dear little gifts you have sent to your niece. She loves each one more dearly than the last. I know this might be prying but each time your niece sees the color brown she loses herself in emotion. Do you know why so I might help her?”  The uncle sent a note to the nanny. It was addressed to her in bold print. She could tell he was a man who was self- assured. The inside of the envelope revealed something different. In a hand that appeared, less than bold, she read “My sister had the most beautiful long, chestnut-brown hair; her eyes were brown with golden flecks. She looked like a goddess in silks made of reddish brown. She was marron.” The nanny could see a water mark like a drop had fallen over the word marron. “I loved my sister more than life. Her laughter caused the sun to rise. When she was sad, rain fell. Her husband and all who knew her adored her.  Her little one will be her double when she grows into womanhood. Will I ever be able to look upon her without dying from the pain of this great loss?  If only it had been me.”

At his last words, the nanny’s head fell into her hands.  She cried remembering the death of her own mama. “Oh life is so cruel!”, she stomped her feet. She had new resolve to destroy anything that was brown. To dress her darling in blues and pinks; never in her mother’s favorite marron. The little niece would grow up knowing as much love as the nanny could find in her heart to give.

There are always many wonderful short stories over at Theme Thursday. The prompt this week was brown. Enjoy!!!

Thank you to popsicle for the brown eyes:


Published by moondustwriter

Thank you for visiting Moondustwriter. One of the many exciting things I've had the honor of doing is writing with an E. African team that is developing elementary curriculum for African children. As a writer, it is a thrill to help children (on all continents) who want to learn. I've been part of the blogging community for more than 10 years. Some old timers may remember the award winning (2011 Twitter Shorty ) blog community - One Stop Poetry. I was the co-producer of that fast growing blog community. I am a published writer, poet, artist and photographer. I have written, as well as edited, for periodicals, radio, blogs and fellow writers. There are many facets to this moon - thanks for stopping by.

26 thoughts on “The meaning of brown…

  1. Ah… your nice little story to the prompt “brown” brought back memories of my favorite story when I was a child: The Little Princess. Love and understanding are the cure. Well done.


  2. Oh boy! This felt real close to heart, because I LOVE BROWN!
    A lovely tragic story.. and I hope the girl begins to see the beauty (her mom’s love) in that earthy brown.. once she does, she will love it too..

    A very nicely written story, Moon..


    1. C- you are such an encouragement – that story was a struggle to write. What does a writer construct from brown???


  3. I have never trusted brown. Now I know why. Brown kills! 😮

    Seriously though, nice way of rising to the challenge in this story. I would’ve been at a loss on how to include the colour brown like you did, M. 🙂


  4. This is great. As well as what has already been said, I love the way it touches on how such small things such as a colour can impact the young mind. Very well written.


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