Zaydi lived in the hot, dry desert. It was always hot
and always dry. It never rained. One day Zaydiís mother went to town to do
some shopping. "Zaydi, I bought you a book," she called to her son.
He was behind the Bedouin tent, playing with the goats.
He was too young to go out with his papa and big brothers. He jumped up
and ran into the tent. "What kind of book?" he asked.
"Why donít you take a look? Itís got a lot of beautiful
pictures in it," she said.
Zaydi sat down on a sheepskin and turned the pages. He
saw tall, gray storm clouds, with bolts of lightning dashing out of them.
There were pictures of blizzards, balls of hail, and puddles with
raindrops splashing in them. Zaydi wondered what snow felt like, what it
would be like to splash in a puddle and have the water go all over him, or
what it smelled like as it pelted down on the hot sand. He kept turning
pages and saw one of a beautiful rainbow. It seemed to stretch across the
sky from one end of the earth to the other. Zaydi stared at this picture
for a long time. He wanted to see a rainbow.
"Mama, I want to see a rainbow. Look how many colors
there are. Will you show me one?" He showed his mother the picture.
"Thatís very beautiful, Zaydi, but we live in the
desert. It doesnít rain here, not ever. That is why we live here," his
"But, Mama, I want to see one. Look at the picture."
Mama looked at the rainbow picture. She thought and
thought. How could she show Zaydi a rainbow? "All right, Zaydi. You go and
look at your book and Iíll think about it."
Zaydi ran outside and sat near the goats, showing them
the pictures. "Mama is taking me to see a rainbow," he told them.
BAA! BAA! BAA!
The next morning, after papa and the others left with
the goats and sheep, Mama called to Zaydi, "Come on. Weíre going to see a
Zaydi was so excited. He held his motherís hand. They
walked into town, and then took a bus. Zaydi watched out the window. He
saw some tall mountains up ahead. "Are we going to the mountains, Mama?"
"Yes, Zaydi. Weíll see a rainbow there."
The bus drove for a long time and finally stopped at a
small village near the bottom of the tall mountains. Zaydi and his mama
got off. "Come, Zaydi. We are going to see a rainbow."
Zaydi held his motherís hand. They walked past the
village and kept going. Mama had packed some food for them to eat and
Zaydi nibbled on some berries and goat cheese. He noticed that instead of
sand, that there was green grass growing. He felt it. It was soft and
tickled his fingers. He saw flowers blooming, tall trees growing, and a
lot of birds flying around. Heíd never seen so many beautiful things.
He looked up into the sky. It was filled with gray
clouds, like the ones heíd seen in his new picture book. "Look, Mama,
clouds," he said, pointing to the sky. "Will we see a rainbow soon, Mama?"
"Soon, Zaydi. Soon."
They kept walking. It started to rain. Zaydi had never
felt rain before. The sky boomed. "What is the sky saying, Mama?" he
asked. He was rather afraid of the noise.
He watched the lightning flash and held his mamaís hand tightly.
"Itís thunder and lightning, like in your book," she
"Oh. Rain feels good, Mama. It is making our hair all
wet, and our clothes too," he chuckled.
They found a jacaranda tree and sat down on the grass
under it. "Soon it will stop raining and youíll see the rainbow," Mama
After a while the raindrops stopped falling, the
lightning stopped flashing and the thunder stopped rolling. They stood up
and looked up in the sky. The gray clouds parted and the sun came out from
behind them. Suddenly Zaydi cried out, "Look, Mama. I see a rainbow! I see
a rainbow! It looks just like the one in my book. Itís got green, and red,
and yellow, and blue, and purple, and pink, and orange too. Itís
Mama looked at the rainbow. She thought it was
wonderful. She breathed in some fresh air.
"It goes across the sky, from one end to the other.
Whatís at the end of the rainbow, Mama?" Zaydi asked.
"Some people say there is a great treasure there.
Otherís say there is magic there, or maybe thereís nothing at all," she
said. "But, Zaydi, I think the treasure is right here in front of us. How
can anything be worth more than the beauty of a rainbow?"
Zaydi looked at it. The sunlight sparkled on the
leftover drops of rain that were clinging to the flowers. The grass was
greener, the sky was bluer, and the colors of the rainbow were bright.
"Youíre right, Mama. This is a treasure."