RAINBOW’S END (A poetic tale)

Sally Boyde and me were out for fun, playing in the rain and waiting for the sun. We giggled in the instant the storm shut off like a tap and wandered into a yellow field to grab flowers for our hair. It was in that moment we saw an arc overhead. Brightly colored ribbons, gleaming above the trees from where the bluebirds sang. She turned to me, eyes glimmering, and said, “Let’s run!” Goose flesh shivers went up my limbs at the thought of a better life to behold. I lunged at the chance to find the gold at the rainbow’s end.

Sally Boyde ran right and I went left – each racing opposite ways to our rainbow ends. My mind buzzing every second with all I could do with a bucket of gold, living life anew. I would buy a house on the other side of the world and never hear another complaint of my old mother’s aches and pains, or listen to her nettling like a shrew. I would be free, I would be rich and far away from that ornery old witch.

But when I reached the rainbow’s end I chose, my eyes met the trick of Sally Boyde’s hasty right flight. There sat an old rusted bucket by a creek filled with dirty rocks, and no pot of gold in sight. My heart flooded with self-pity, with nothing to end my plight. I cried to the heavens and cursed Sally Boyde for running right.

So, I sat there waiting until Sally Boyde, smiling, finally came and I showed her the ugly bucket with no treasure inside, saying she was to blame. Her smile faded and without a thought she handed me her shiney bucket in trade. “Magic seeds,” she said. But all I saw was yellow grain.

How I hated her that day, my disappoint so complete, but went home with the shiney pot full of worthless grain and Sally did the same. My mother nibbled at the seeds, saying she liked the flavor of their taste. To my amazement, each day passing, took away mother’s aches and pains. She began dancing and singing more and more, crying – nettling and complaining so much less. Somehow our companionship flourished then, our pleasant conversations bloomed, and laughter without end was all we knew -all the while trapped together – stuck inside for days and days of relentless rain.

When the storms shut off, and a rainbow appeared above our house once more, a knocking came at our door and in stepped Sally Boyde. She carried with her that ugly rusted bucket and took something out from within. She placed a glimmering golden nugget into my hand and said, “I tossed them in my garden and the rain washed them clean.” She carried with her twenty golden nuggets that once looked like muddy rocks taken from the river’s bend.

My disgruntled choice had made a rich woman of my friend, Sally Boyde, trading buckets with her as we had. But she was a true friend and gave me one lump of gold, the biggest in her tin. So, I ran out the front door as fast as I could leave. Running over hills and through the yellow flowered glen. I ran and ran, with the new rainbow gleaming my above my head. But this time I did not go right or left, I did not run to the end. Instead, I collapsed in the farmers field were golden grain flourished without end. I gave him my lump of gold to purchase all I could buy from him. For I had discovered the treasure of my mother, whose aches I could mend. I was the richest woman in the end.

–Joan Wiley

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