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Cassie and Henrietta Follow the Rainbow


By Terri Hobbs

Cassie the calf (a black and white Holstein) and Henrietta the heifer (a fawn colored Jersey) stood in the doorway of Farmer Fitch's barn and watched the raindrops dance down from the sky.

Pitter patter pitter patter plip plop plip plop!

It was fun for a while, seeing the raindrops spatter the mud in the yard. But soon Henrietta said, "Cassie, I'm bored. Let's go out and play!"

The two girls ran around in the yard by the barn, chasing each other, and splashing each other in the big mud puddles.

Pitter patter pitter patter splish splash splish splash!

They soon got tired of that, too. So they craned back their necks and stuck out their tongues and tried catching raindrops. But the rain went in their eyes, and up their noses, and down the backs of their throats!

Pitter patter pitter patter cough cough cough!

"I don't want to do this any more," said Henrietta. "What can we do now?"

"Look," Cassie said, as a beam of sunlight broke through the clouds. "What's that?"

"That's a rainbow, Cassie."

"Wow." Cassie stared. She'd never seen anything like it before. It was so beautiful, arching across the sky in red and orange, yellow and green, blue and purple. "What's a rainbow?"

Henrietta, who was older and knew things, cleared her throat and said importantly, "A rainbow is a road in the sky that takes you places that are magical. At the end of the rainbow everything is colored red and orange, yellow and green, blue and purple, just like the rainbow is."

"Can we go there?" Cassie asked.

"Sure, let's go!"

Henrietta and Cassie raced each other through the rain across the pastures of Farmer Fitch, their hooves squishing in the soft grass.

Pitter patter pitter patter squish squash squish squash!

They followed the rainbow a long, long way. They went up, up, up to the top of the Big Hill. But when they got there, the end of rainbow was nowhere in sight.

"Where is it?" Cassie asked, looking around.

"It's moved. See it's over there now. It's ending at the Old Forest. Let's go!"

They hurried down the steep hill, slipping on the wet grass, as they followed the rainbow to its new destination.

Pitter patter pitter patter slip slide slip slide!

The girls ran and ran, over the pastures, through the cornfields, until finally they came to the edge of the Old Forest at the boundary of Farmer Fitch's land. The forest was big and dark and a little scary. Cassie had never been here before, and she peered nervously into the dimness under the trees.

"It's OK," Henrietta said. She was never afraid of anything. "Come on!"

She led Cassie under the tree limbs, carefully picking her way over fallen logs. They went inside for a short distance before Cassie stopped.

"Henrietta, what happened to the rainbow?" she asked.

Under the trees, they could not see the rainbow any longer. And even the sound of the rain shower was different here as the raindrops dripped off the leaves.

Pit pat pit pat pit pat pit pat pit pat pit pat

"I don't know," Henrietta replied, looking around. "Mrs. Squirrel," she said, when she saw a little gray squirrel on a nearby tree branch, "do you know where the rainbow is?"

Mrs. Squirrel shook her head. "No, I don't know anything about any rainbows. And I've got work to do - babies to mind and nuts to find. I don't have time for rainbows."

"Do you have time to play with us?" Cassie asked. She was getting bored just standing around.

"No, no. Too much to do. Now you girls go on your way and let me get back to work." With that Mrs. Squirrel scurried away up the trunk and disappeared among the leaves.

No one else was nearby, and the rain continued to drip off the leaves. But there was no rainbow here.

"Henrietta, can we go now?" asked Cassie, feeling nervous in the dim light among the crowded tree trunks.

"OK, let's go back," Henrietta said, and she headed toward the edge of the forest.

When the girls left the trees and stood in the field, they could see the rainbow arching across the sky once more, and off they ran again.

Cassie and Henrietta raced across the fields, up little hills and down. They crossed a small stream, and they went past a grove of pines. But still the rainbow led them on.

The two girls ran down a track Farmer Fitch used to get to his back hay field. They trotted along a path the big cows made going to the far pastures. But still the rainbow led them on.

After a long while, when Cassie was getting very tired, they came to the top of a hill where the end of the rainbow dipped down to the other side. And there below them was their own familiar pasture, with their own barn and the muddy yard.

Just then the girls noticed that the barn was red, and its door was orange. That the sunflowers were yellow and the grass was green. They saw Farmer Fitch's blue sign that said, "Welcome to Herd Haven". And the wheelbarrow near the shed was purple, too!

"Look, Henrietta," Cassie said, "We found the end of the rainbow!"

"Hey, we have!" Henrietta replied. "I'll race you. Let's go!"

They ran as fast as they could, through the gentle rain, down the pasture, and into the yard by the barn. Cassie splashed Henrietta in a mud puddle, and they chased each other, laughing and squealing, happy to be home again.

Pitter patter pitter patter plip plop plip plop!

Copyright 2005, Terri Hobbs