"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?"
"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
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.
"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?"
"Of course. Weíll come the next time
it looks like rain, but its our secret, isnít it?" he laughed, rubbing her
She nodded and grandfather and
granddaughter sat silently, watching the rainbow twinkle and sparkle in
the highland sun.