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The clouds were gathering fast and a swift summer rain began to fall with big heavy drops. On the cobbled road children fled to their homes scattered by the starting rain. Simone ran towards the gate of her house trying to hide from the rain. But by the time she reached the gate she was soaked to the skin. She grabbed the door handle

a nd pressed it. The door remai ned closed. Simone tried to Force the door open, but it seemed stuck so she started to knock with her fists. For a few moments she waited For someone to come and open the door, but to her surprise no one ca me.

"It cannot be. Didn't gra ndma see the rai n has started? How come no one came to call me inside? She always comes for me right away" and she started to knock again on the big wooden door.

"Where is everybody?" she wondered and drew closer to the gate tryi ng to get out of the rai n,

shette ring under the srna II gate roof. The street was empty. All the children were gone and ali she could hear was the sound of falling rain. Simone looked down and she sighed when she saw her favourite violet sandals now looking terrible.

"I wonder how much longer is the rain going to last? How come no one noticed 1 am missing? What is going on? The gate has never been

locked ... perhaps it's just broken. Grandpa will fix it" she thought to herself shivering. Her little dress was wet and she was cold.

"No doubt I will catch a cold and mom will be so upset" she sighed. The rain continued to fall and she crouched trying to warm herself.

She cupped her little mitred f,!ce,Jnro her ha nds watching t.he water drops smashing onto ute cobbted road.

And as she stood watching the rain she saw,


falling a few feet away, a big yellow paint-like drop that splashed loudly onto the stone. From among the spray of water darted upright. a little girl. Simone rubbed her eyes in disbelief. And yet there stood a little girl with yellow hair, yellow dress, yellow slippers in her feet and with a yellow umbrella in her hands.

"This cannot be!" Simone said. "I must be

dreaming! "

Hearing this, the yellow girl started to laugh.

Simone could barely utter a word:

"Err, who are you?"

"Who am I?" giggled the yellow little girl. "I am

one of the rainbow girls .. "

"The ralnbow..Jli~ls~" wondered Slfl'lOne. "Yes, the rainbow girls .. you do know what a rainbow is, don't you?"


"Of course I


Simone hurriedly. "J saw it many times in the sky, but I have never heard of the rainbow girls

before. Are there more of you?" she said looking around.

"We are seven girls, one girl for each of the

seven colou rs of the ral nbow. As you can see I am the yellow girl. My sisters red and orange were

supposed to arrive before me, but they started

squabbling with the wind and surely they must be ~ flying somewhere in the clouds."

"But they should be here any minute now together with my other sisters: green, blue, violet

and purple."

Simone listened fascinated; she forgot about the rain, the gate and the cold.

.. "Ah, here they come!" the yellow girl

( • announced. "Let me introduce you to my sisters ... " and grabbing Simone by the hand they both took

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cover under the yellow umbrella.

Right in front of the m fell two big drops, one

blue and the other green, and from them sprouted

two little girls with umbrellas in their hands.

"Ah, there you are!" said the green girl to the yellow one. "We weren't sure this was the landing spot. We saw red and orange somewhere up there a while ago" she continued pointing to the sky.

"Yes, and they are late as usual, and they

messed up our schedule. We wondered around

looking for them through the clouds" replied the blue girl grumpily shaking her umbrella.

"Oh don't be upset, they Will be here in a morne nt" addressed the green gi rl to the bl ue one


who seemed very angry.

< _ In that mome nt, right next to the m, fe II two

jumped up two little girls that landed softly a moment later holding on to their umbrellas.

"You splashed me!" yelled the blue girl gesturing wildly with her umbrella .. "Why are you not being careful?" she said while trying to clean

her dress of the big red and orange blotches, but she only succeeded to smear them.

"We merely livened you a bit!" said the orange girl rustli ng her golden cu rls.

"Why are you so grumpy? It's only a couple of

drops, maybe you will cheer up a bit" said the red girl to the blue one sticking out her tongue.

"Oh, leave her alone ... you always pick on her"

said the green girl while she tried to help the blue girl cleaning her dress. Meanwhile the two


newcomers, seeing Simone, approached her and

the yellow girl curiously.

"Who is she?" asked the red gl rio

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"Simone ... as far as I know people shouldn't be

able to see us" she said turning towards the

others. "How did you pick this landing place?"

"We picked it beca use we got lost, a nd it's a.1I

your fault" replied the yellow girl.

"You were supposed to lead the way and pick the landing spot" argued the green girl.

"But as usual you wondered off" criticized the girl with the blue umbrella.

-on, you are so bickerish today" crumpled at them the red girl while the orange girl drew closer to Simone studying her long black hair.

"Hrnrn, look at her hair - she whispered to the

red girl - such a strange colour ... " ~

"It's ellen more dull than blue" the red girl

replied. "If she is so grumpy - pOinting to the blue

girl - imagine how this one must be" indicating


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Simone looked at them in wonder, not knowing whether to answer or not to this impertinence.

"How can you say such a thing?" the yellow girl chastised them.

"People are different from us" she continued.

"Simone has something from each of us. Look at

her, her dress is coloured with green, red and

yellow, her little sandals are violet, and her eyes are as blue as the sky. She has all the colours of

the rainbow."

Eve ryone looked at Simone.

"You are right, as usual" said the green girl.

"You two shou Id behave yourselves" she waged

(her finger at the red and orange girls, who looked ashamed. "But what happened to Violet and purple?" she addressed the others. "Where are

/;~hey, "": vou se en them?"

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"You know how they are" said the yellow girl "they never hurry. You always have to wait for


"Yes, but we have to stop the rain. It is time."

"We must spread out the rainbow!" said the

blue girl, who managed to get her dress cleaned and seemed a lot happier.

"Spread out the rainbow? How?" wondered


"How can you not now this much?" queried the red girl. The yellow girl smiled and whispered to Simone: "Don't mind them; they tend to be a little

peculiar. It's the hair colour, you know ... " and she continued out loud:


"We, the rainbow girls, are the ones who stop

the rain. We fly high into the sky, carried by the wind and we stretch out the rainbow from one

side to the other so that the rain cannot pass


through. Once the sun is shining again we fold the ra in bow up a nd keep it carefully until the next


"Oh, how wonderful must it be to fly up into the sky ... to bring the rainbow! I wish I could be a rainbow girl like you" said cheerfully Simone, but was interrupted by the red girl.

"Here they are! Where have you been you lazybones?" From the two drops, purple and

violet, sprouted two little girls with umbrellas in their hands, who lazily joined the others.

"What's the rush' I don't understand! The two

of you are always in such a hurry" argued the violet haired girl addressing the red and orange girls.

r "We have arrived Just In tlrne ... We must spread ( lEi:"' the rainbow ... sut who is this?" she asked

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"This is Simone" answered the yellow girl. "And there would be a lot more to say, but you came too late and there IS no more time for

explanations. Quickly now, we must be off!" she


"Take me with you" requested Simone addressing to the yellow girl.

The girl looked back at Simone baffled not knowing what to say.

"How can we take her with us? This has never

been heard of!" started the blue girl and the others approved.

"Please ... take me with you!"

"But you cannot come with us" replayed the

green girl. "Your place is here on Earth, you are

not a rainbow girl."

girl whispered:

"I will take you with me. We will fly together

under my umbrella, but you must know that you

cannot come with us all the way to the end of the

rainbow. You will have to return alone to Earth."

"Come on! Come! We cannot tarry any longer!" shouted the red girl and stretching her umbrella she rose into the air spi nni ng like a peg top. The orange girl took. to flight shortly after.

"Come!" called the yellow girl, and grabbing her

by the hand they both started to fly carried by a whirlwind. Simone watched the other girls as the

rose into the al r. The gree n and the blue girl s were holding hands both waving their umbrellas, while the violet and purple girls floated idly

somewhere behind. The red and orange girls were out of site, only their joyous laughter echoed

somewhere above, among the clouds .. Looking


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down Simone saw the rainbow stretching out in i s entire splendour starting right from the place they just left. House were getting smaller and smaller, right down to the size of match boxes, with the cobbled road winding down between them. The sky was brightening, the clouds parted and the rain stopped. Two little birds flew past them. They have just arrived under a big fluffy cloud when the yellow girl stopped and said:

"You must go back now. Th is is as far as you can come, I will give you my umbrella. It will take you down safely" and saying this she gave Simone her umbrella and let her go,

"Don't be sad! We will see each other again!

Rain will come again, and so will the rainbow!"

"Farewell!" cried Simone waving while she was flying down gently, carried by the wind, holding on to the umbrella, swinging from side to side,


The yellow gi rl flew hig her and h ig her untl I she entered the cloud and disappeared. 5i mane looked

down at the houses that we re drawing nearer and neare r, until she la nded on the cobb led road in front of he r house.

"They didn't get to wrap it yet" she thought looking upwards at the rainbow that stretched from one side to the other of the sky. "What an adventure" she said out loud, carefully wrapping the umbrella, while she approached the gate. She

stood pondering for a second, a nd then she pushed down the door handle. To her wonder the

door opened and a voice called from within the courtva rd:

"Simone! Simone! Where are you?"

"I'm here I I'm comi ng!"

"They will never believe me!" she said to herself with a big smile on her face while she


went through and the large gate shut loudly behind her.

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