In February our theme was ‘children’. Some wrote the first chapter of a children’s story, a couple of people wrote complete stories, one wrote a poem, and there were two articles about children’s authors. Here is Judy’s story:
The Rainbow Children
BY JUDY INGMAN
Ginta-Marie was eight years old with a rather unusual name and an extra-ordinarily difficult problem. Her close friend Betsy, also eight was blind. Betsy had moved in next door a year before and had become so familiar with both houses and gardens that it was easy to forget she couldn’t see.
Then, yesterday it had rained and when the sun shone through later, there was the most beautiful rainbow that Ginta-Marie had ever seen and without thinking she had shouted out to her friend, “Look, Betsy, see the rainbow and all those fantastic colours.”
Betsy couldn’t understand what she was talking about. Feeling sad for her friend Ginta-Marie tried to describe the rainbow but Betsy grew more and more tearful and cross and as she tripped over a stone running between the hedges to her garden, yelled, “Leave me alone, leave me alone!”
Ginta-Marie raced after her, crying, “Betsy, wait, I’m so sorry. I forgot you can’t see. Wait, Betsy.”
Betsy just rushed into her house and wouldn’t come out again.
Ginta-Marie was so unhappy, she couldn’t eat her tea, went to bed early and sobbed into her pillow.
She had always accepted Betsy’s blindness and even sometimes she’d closed her eyes and moved around as though she were blind too. It had even felt exciting to pretend she couldn’t see trying to enter into Betsy’s world. She found out that she could hear the birds more clearly. She didn’t just see the flowers she sniffed them and breathed in their scent. She’d shut her eyes at times when eating and had found she enjoyed the taste of food more. It had been like a game.
It had never seemed to occur to her that Betsy couldn’t see colours and her tears fell even more as she realised how black and dark her friend’s world really was. Very unhappily she at last fell asleep.
She awoke to a very noisy chorus of cats and birds. She kept her eyes shut listening and then shuddered as she remembered her dream of a black and white rainbow that kept following her, trapping her into corners of her room as she tried running away from it.
Sitting up in bed she thought of the real rainbow that Betsy couldn’t see or even imagine. She closed her eyes and thought and thought. Betsy could hear better than her, her sense of taste and identifying smells was more accurate and she was always good at guessing what an object was by touching it. Ginta-Marie felt she must help Betsy find a way to imagine a rainbow, so she thought and puzzled until she suddenly smiled to herself and then jumped out of bed.
Much later on, if her Mum was surprised at all the bundles and food from the kitchen, that kept disappearing into the playhouse, she said nothing, although she was curious, as she and Betsy’s Mum had both been upset by what had happened between the girls the day before.
After a quick lunch, Ginta-Marie called for Betsy.
“Please, come and play. I have something to share with you.”
Betsy wanted to refuse, “Its no use, I can’t see.”
“Please, Betsy I really have a nice surprise for you,”
Betsy’s Mum urged her to go.
Ginta-Marie, pulled her into the playhouse taking her hand and leading her to each corner. The first was filled with fruit, the second with flowers, the third had a mouth organ and a recorder and the fourth had some felt tips and paper. She made Betsy feel everything in each corner.
Then she announced, “Betsy, here are four different rainbows. The first corner is the tasty rainbow,” and she giggled as she made her friend taste each fruit in turn, which were all in rainbow colours, strawberry for red, then an orange, banana for yellow and a green apple. The blueberries were from a tin. Finally she made her taste a purple grape and a deep dark plum which was rather squashy. When Betsy had tasted them all and said she would remember this as the Tasty Rainbow, Ginta-Marie led her to the second corner where all the flowers were.
“This,” she declared is “ The sniffy Rainbow corner.”
She giggled again and Betsy did, too, as she sniffed a bright red rose, an orange marigold, a yellow daffodil, some cut grass, a blue hyacinth in a pot, a sprig of lilac from the tree in the garden and finally a small bunch of deep purple Chrysanthemums. In fact the giggling led to sneezing as the leaves tickled Betsy’s nose.
In no time she was trundled to the third corner, where she was given the mouth organ while Ginta-Marie picked up the recorder. She insisted they play all seven notes together.
“ Doh ray me far so la tee “ and then she added the final doh, laughing out loud she said, “This is the Sound Rainbow.”
Betsy was soon laughing along before she was led to the final corner where there was paper and coloured pens.
“This is the Touching Rainbow,” she said solemnly.
She gave each of the pens to Betsy to hold, getting her to feel the notches she’d made on each, one on red, right up to seven on the purple one. Then she guided Betsy’s hand on each pen in turn so that she actually drew her own rainbow on the paper.
Ginta -Marie hugged Betsy, “ you are my bestest, bestest friend and you may not be able to see it, but I’ll help you draw a rainbow, if you want to on a card for your Mum’s birthday next week.”
Betsy hugged her back, very excited about all the different kinds of rainbows.
Together they ran for their mothers, who were already creeping down to the playhouse in search of all the giggling. The girls led them happily round the four corners of special rainbows.
Then Ginta-Marie’s Mum responded, “You mustn’t forget the most important rainbow of all, the Feely one!”
The girls looked puzzled, so she held each of their hands with Betsy’s Mum too, and said,
“Both of you were very sad yesterday, and you went through lots of different feelings.”
They both agreed the range of feelings they had both felt were, sadness, anger, fear, worry, love, excitement and finally happiness.
Then Betsy said holding on to her friend’s hand, “I want to call the Feely rainbow the Friendship Rainbow”
Both Mothers smiled at each other and gave both girls a hug before leaving them to carry on playing with all their new rainbows.
Last Updated on February 14, 2023