Turn That Frown Upside Down


There were frowns all around. I suppose that was to be expected. After all, they lived in Frownsville. Had there been anything else, it would have created even more consternation and chaos.

The day always started out in the usual manner. Morning aches and pains woke  sleepers out of a restless rest. Groans and moans accompanied breakfast. Breakfast itself was tasteless and caused stomach upsets. Cleaning up the messes from the night before, which had been left for the morning after, meant all the dishes had dried crud on them. They needed a good soak first. All in all it was not a  good start to the day. But then this was Frownsville so what else could you expect.

But unbeknownst to them all there was one tiny little glimmer of happiness lurking in a far corner of Frownsville. No-one had spotted it yet. It shimmered out of one little girl. She smiled all the time. Her heart was full of joy and happiness. You see, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. She loved both of these things.  They warmed her inside and out and made her feel alive.  Waking up with a smile on her face, she would jump out of bed. Breakfast was always delicious, making her taste buds sing and dance. She  flew through all the morning chores enjoying the cleanliness and restored order. Happy that all was as it should be, she would then step outside. Songbirds were calling to each other in trills that carried and danced on the gusts of wind.

One day as she was skipping down the lane, the little girl stopped to admire the beautiful wild flowers. Their brilliant bursts of colour created a vibrance like an artist’s splashes on the gently undulating grasses.  Their perfume softly scented the air. Breathing deeply, she turned her face to the sun, threw her arms up as if reaching for the sky. She danced round and round in circles until giddy she fell laughing into the grass.

As she lay there enjoying the embrace of the earth, the grasses tickling her skin, her thoughts turned to the gloomy frowning faces she saw every day. Being such a happy soul, she never understood what made everyone else seem so angry and bad tempered all the time. It made her feel sad for them.  With all her heart she wished and wished that the frowns could be turned upside down. Then they would become smiles. And smiles reached all the way down into the heart. When the heart is full of smiles it feels so good. She knew that because that is just how she felt all the time.

As she lay there thinking and smiling, all of a sudden she got such a good idea that it made her laugh out loud. In her imagination she would paint a smile on every frowning face she saw that day.  And so she did. As she went about her day she painted smiles. She skipped and smiled and danced her way around Frownsville. Day after day she did this until there was not a corner left untouched. Then she started all over again. And again and again.

And do you know what? It was not at all long before people in Frownsville started feeling something odd. They didn’t quite know what it was because they had never felt it before. The morning aches and pains slowly faded away. At first they were too scared to mention it to anyone at all just in case it was something bad and catching – which it was in a good way. The feeling grew and grew. Breakfast was so tasty. The morning chores were a breeze. Then on the odd occasion they even caught themselves smiling. Of course at first they didn’t know what a smile was.  They just knew it made their insides glow a little warmer. And the eyes to shine a little brighter. And that felt – good.

Pretty soon Frownsville was buzzing with happiness. All those frowns had been turned upside down. People smiled, chatted and laughed. They were happy for the first time in their lives. In fact, they were so happy they forgot what  it was like to  frown. And all because one little girl had started to paint smiles on their faces in her imagination.

© Raili Tanska

Smile at everyone you meet

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