Once upon a time, ‘way back about 1950, there lived a little girl with her family in small town America - actually in southern Illinois. One of the most anticipated events to herald the coming of spring was May Day, a day of light-hearted weaving and winding around the tether ball pole on the school playground. A select few of the students, including the little girl, were chosen to dress in bright, homemade costumes to lead the May Day event.
The little girl’s mother, an excellent seamstress, made the little girl’s dress of bright yellow crepe paper. Crepe paper could be used to quickly fashion costumes and it was very inexpensive. Gathered at the shoulders and stitched just so at the sides to allow room for the arms, it hung free to the knees. What a sight it was! The little girl was so proud of this extraordinary costume that she persuaded her mother to let her walk home from school so that all the neighbors along the way could see how pretty she looked.
Being a normal little girl, it wasn’t possible to walk sedately along the sidewalk. No, that wouldn’t do. So, at every mud puddle, the little girl skipped and splattered right through and did a hop and skip on the other side. Unfortunately, crepe paper does not retain its color when wet. It streaks and runs onto everything with which it comes in contact. Unfortunately, too, crepe paper tears easily. With all that skipping and hopping, the beautiful yellow crepe paper dress was soon just a few strips of a sodden mess and the little girl had lovely yellow stripes running down her legs, staining her knees, socks and shoes.
News travels faster than the speed of sound in small towns. The mother received several calls, accompanied by snickering, from well-meaning neighbors about the condition of the little girl’s attire. Needless to say, that was the end of crepe paper costumes for the little girl.