The crow scowled at the sun as it peeped though the ragged clouds. Cursing, it flew from its tree-top perch towards the dark clouds that still grumbled in the distance.
The Rainbow smiled, upside-down it's true, but then there is no top or bottom for rainbows, only ends and beginnings.
The rainbow smiled down upon a stream that proudly gurgled and bubbled as it rushed along, swollen from the rainfall. It laughed as it ran over the smooth pebbles.
'Why are you laughing?' asked the rainbow.
'I'm laughing because I'm well fed and going places of course.' replied the stream cooly.
'Can I come with you?' the rainbow then asked.
'I only travel alone!' gushed the stream without even a glance behind, and it rushed on rudely pushing aside everything in its way.
And the rainbow's smile gently faded as it disappeared.
The sun shone and the earth felt rich and comfortable. She spread her wealth generously, allowing the flowers to grow and the trees to wear new spring clothes of fresh green. The days grew longer before the rain-clouds returned.
The old crow cawed contentedly as it led the way before the storm. Then it perched on the top of a dead ash-tree and lifted its murky wings to dampen them beneath as the rain fell.
But the wind scolded the dark clouds on. The crow looked up, ruffled its feather's in disgust, then flew off after them.
As he left, the rainbow came, pleased to be back again.
It leant down gracefully upon a lake where a fleet of water-lilies paraded their fine colours. The rainbow smiled to see them and asked if it might stay for a little while.
'We don't need rainbows to brighten our colours.' replied the largest water-lily stiffly.
The rainbow politely bowed then gently faded away.
The following spring came late after a long, harsh winter. Snow lay deep on the hills and the earth was frozen hard. But gradually the earth softened to the warmth of the sun and let the snowdrops announce the thaw.
The little stream, so used to having its own way, was very much put out by the melting snow and ice. It rushed on as fast as it could go but it soon grew quite out of control. And when the melting snow on the hills caused a land-slide to block the stream's course, the water over-ran the banks, swamped the fields and washed into the lake where the water-lilies grew.
The lake tried hard to contain itself but it soon had far too much. It too broke over its banks washing away the reeds, rushes and even the water-lilies.
As the days passed, the waters settled with resignation in all sorts of places. Some became modest lakes, others little ponds and even puddles, for a while. The little stream had lost itself everywhere.
One of the ponds was in a nettle patch. Loosely bedded in the pond was what once had been the most magnificent water-lily of the lake. Now it was quite alone. When the flower finally managed to reach the surface of the pond to bloom, it could only open droopy petals with brown tinges.
It gazed sadly into the sky as the dark clouds gathered, and it shuddered as the breeze freshened and the first heavy rain-drops fell.
The crow flew overhead, looked around and cawed with satisfaction.
The dark clouds billowed and thundered, but they were no match for the wind. And when they were dispelled once more, to the annoyance of the crow, the sun began to appear. The raindrops shone like sparkling jewels, and then the rainbow came.
When the pond and the water-lily saw the rainbow smiling down, they waved and rippled hoping that it might join them and help make their sad, lonely state more colourful. But the rainbow, arching gloriously across the sky, didn't see them. It simply smiled as it gently faded away.
(Having recently rediscovered 'The Rainbow series', a series of short stories first written for all ages several years ago, I thought I could post one of them each month on Viewfinder.
None of them have been published, so it might also be a way of preserving them, assuming they are worth preserving. 'The Pine Tree' was also one of this particular series. The original idea was that all the stories, illustrating the elements and the circle of life, be connected. This was also symbolised by the complete circle of the rainbow, half of which would be its lake reflection, for example. They might also represent part of a simple, personal philosophy).
As from 'The Pine Tree', in the small rainbow vignette below, please click on 'Rainbow' for the following story, and 'From' for the preceding story.
For the 'Rainbow alphabet doggerel' please click here
Text and image © Mirino (PW) June, 2010