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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Rainbow Forest

"Letís go for a picnic," Grandpa said to his granddaughter, Helen. "Thereís something very special, a secret place. Iíd like to show you now that youíre a big girl."

The six year old answered, "What is the secret place called?"

"Rainbow Forest."

"Why is it called that?"

"Youíll see when we get there."

"But, Grandpa. Itís not a good day for a picnic. The sky is filled with gray clouds and it looks like it might rain," Helen sighed.

"On the contrary, Helen, itís a perfect day for a picnic to Rainbow Forest. I hope it rains. It will be much more of a surprise for you it if pours," Grandpa said.

"Youíre silly, Grandpa. How can it be a good surprise if it rains?"

"Letís just go and find out," he laughed. They packed the picnic basket full of cheese sandwiches, sausage rolls and potato crisps. "Are you ready?" he asked.

Helen stood at the door. She was dressed in her bright yellow raincoat, rubber boots and an umbrella. "Iím ready."

Grandpa put his raincoat and boots on and grabbed the picnic basket. "Weíre off then," he said and shut the door. They walked over the heather-covered hills, across meadows of bluebells and wildflowers, and then over more hills. When they reached the top of one, they stopped. "Here it is," Grandpa said, showing Helen the glen below. "Thereís Rainbow Forest."

Helen looked around. "I donít see any rainbow, Grandpa. All I see are pine trees."

"Letís have our picnic now," he said. He looked up into the sky and chuckled. "Letís hurry though. Itís going to rain soon." He giggled again.

They devoured their lunch and had no sooner packed the rubbish away than it began to sprinkle. Helen opened the umbrella and they sat next to each other under it. "Itís raining, Grandpa. Weíll get soaking wet," she moaned.

"Itís about time. Keep watching the trees," Grandpa smiled. The clouds got darker and the rain came down harder. Just then the trees right at the bottom of the hill started to turn brilliant red.

Rainbow Forest

"Look, Grandpa. The trees are turning bright red," Helen said. Her eyes were big and bright and twinkled. "How beautiful." A few moments later, the trees right behind those turned orange. "Grandpa, those ones are orange!" Soon some other trees turned yellow, and then some turned bright green, blue, dark blue and purple. "Grandpa," Helen laughed, "The trees look like a rainbow. It is a Rainbow Forest!"

"My grandpa used to bring me when I was a wee lad. I never told anyone about it. Youíre the first. Isnít it beautiful?" he shouted.

They sat silently, watching the trees shimmer in the wind. A while later the rain stopped. Helen sat, amazed, as the rainbow colors left the forest and floated up into the sky. Soon it spread from one hill to another. "Oh," Helen smiled. "A rainbow in the sky! Itís lovely!" The sun broke from behind a cloud and its rays shot through the rainbow to the ground below. "Itís magical," she said, holding her grandpaís hand.

"It only lasts for a few minutes. Letís sit here and enjoy it," he said, squeezing hers back.

"Can we come here again, Grandpa?" she pleaded.

"Of course. Weíll come the next time it looks like rain, but its our secret, isnít it?" he laughed, rubbing her hair.

She nodded and grandfather and granddaughter sat silently, watching the rainbow twinkle and sparkle in the highland sun.

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