While working at the Edwardsville Public Library, I had the opportunity to write puppet shows. One of them is called "The Rainbow that Chased the Blues Away." http://www.marilynkinsella.org/Puppetry/rainbow_that_chased_the_blu...
I think it is very tellable. In the puppet show I stop and come out to tell "The First Rainbow" found in the book "Stories the California Indians Told." (you may want to change the name if the story offends any other religious beliefs). In it Coyote enlists the two spider grandsons into helping the Creator make a sign that the rain will stop. It takes at least 15 minutes to tell, so I added a lot of participation for the young audience. I also sing (ahem) Ella Jenkins song "I know the colors of the rainbow." It's easy, catchy and the kids can join in. I followed that with a simple craft of making rainbow sticks using colored streamers. BTW,vIt may be hard to find the book. Some libraries still own it...or Amazon or such may have copies.
Hi, Katie - take a quick look at Debra Morningstar's page on the Storyteller site - and enjoy her Oneida tale about the creation of the rainbow - kind of a story about heaven for flowers. She a video of herself telling the tale the last time I looked. Sincerely, Mike
Once on a time, there appeared in the sky a beautiful blue rainbow.
It shone through the clouds and rain, as no other rainbow had ever shone before.
Its blue ranged from the lightest of light sky blues, to the darkest of night time blue. All other nuances of blue shone between.
Seated at the end of the rainbow was a small child.
She played quietly with the beautiful colours that shone around her - letting the blue light caress her arms and hands. Filling her face with the blue light that surrounded her, filling her soul with a softness and warmth that overwhelmed her heart.
She turned her head searching for the echo of herself on the other end of the rainbow.
She looked carefully and found a mirror image of herself staring back - smiling and laughing and waving. There was happiness and joy of a kind that she had experienced rarely in her life and still yearned for.
The other child smiled and reached out her arms - asking for connection and completion. Could she take this step? Move forwards and away from the blue rainbow ? She took one small step, one tiny movement in a direction which would lead her to a new place.
Once, on a time. a rainbow shone – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
Backed on a ground of brightest blue, it glittered and sang its colours to the earth, though the busy bodies below could hear nothing.
Busy as bees they were, running, rushing, worrying, hiding, making and breaking their lives in ways that they did not know or understand. Wanting and wishing and crying and dying, over and over and over. A dark soggy cloud of grey hung over the
busy bodies raining cold sorry tears into their tiny lives.
High above the singing rainbow, there appeared a tiny yellow bird, his song, was the sweetest you could imagine. Stronger than honeydew in the honeysuckle, brighter than the shiniest star in the heavens, softer than the softest whisp of dandelion fluff that wimpers on the wind.
With the merest flick of his wings, Erranil (for that was his name) rested himself for a while on the gentle curve of the rainbow. His tiny claws curved round the warmth of the indigo bow. Breathing in the indiglow he felt his feathers become strong again, and a voice quietly whispered in his mind “Erranil” (for that was his name) go, find the blue child, down there, down below, and fill his heart with my warmth, so that he may live again…”
Without a backward thought, Erranil (for that was his name) leapt up into the sky and with two mighty twists of his wings, he plummeted down, down, through the cloud layer, through the miserable rain, until he reached the level of the sad busy bodies.
Erranil landed gently on an outcrop of rock, and waited, to find the blue child.
Below him, he could see a dark, wet path, overhung by leafy trees, their roots
cracked and black, twisting angrily down into the muddy earth.
Slowly, oh so slowly along the path there walked a woman, world weary carrying a tiny child, and by her side, a little boy.
Erranil (for that was his name) looked more closely, and noticed, from within the child’s tunic, a reflection of his heart – pulsing slowly, from green, to yellow, to grey, and back to green again. A deep sigh seemed to rise from the child’s heart and overtake his whole body.
This was the child.
The bird flew slowly and gracefully towards the child, landing quietly on his shoulder.
Quicker than winking Erranil plucked a feather from his wing, gently slipping it beneath the surface of the child’s tunic. Before the child had time to look, Erranil (for that was his name) flicked his wings and disappeared high into a tree, to watch.
Almost immediately, the child began to change.
Erranil noticed the reflection of his heart change in colour, from green, to red, and from red, to crimson and back again to red.
From a muddy grey, the child’s skin colour changed, to a healthy pink, and a gentle smile rose from his toes to the very top of his head.
Erranil watched in wonder.
The pink spread, from the hand of the child, up the arm of the weary woman, carrying the sleeping child. Soon she too carried the spreading smile throughout her whole body, and a laugh escaped her lips.
As the small family walked, the ground beneath their feet changed from a muddy earth to a grassy path, and the tree branch on which Erranil sat began to put forth new leaf.
The further into the world of busy bodies the small family walked, the wider the smile spread.
Looking upwards, high into the sky, Erranil (for that was his name) began to see glimpses of rainbow sheen.
The dark grey clouds were parting; the world was letting in the power of the hidden
Hearing the song of the rainbow becoming louder and brighter Erranil knew that his work was done.
He flew up through the cracking clouds and watched from his perch on the indigo bow, as the song of the rainbow washed away the dark clouds, turning off their tears and slowing to a stop, the rush of the busy bodies below.
No more were they busy as bees, running, rushing, worrying, hiding, making and breaking their lives in ways that they did not know or understand. Wanting and wishing and crying and dying, over and over and over.
Instead, they gazed, in wonder, at the sign of rainbow song, high above their heads.
They stopped, and watched and a peace filled their souls.
He smiled to himself, “yes” he said to the rainbow “our job is done”…..
I tell a Noah's Ark story about the rainbow "How the Birds Got Their Colors." I know it is an African-American tale. My notes on what sources I first found it in are at work, but here are the bones.
You know about Noah's ark, rained 40 days, all the animals, etc. After rain stopped, sent out crow to look for land, nothing. Sent out dove - found a sprig of green. Still, Noah hesitated. Is it safe? What if . . . ? Maybe we should wait.
All the animals on deck of the ark, waiting. All the birds perched on gunwales, roof, everywhere they could fit, listening to Noah dither.
God got tired of waiting for Noah to act, sent rainbow as a sign. Noah looked at it, hemmed and hawed, well, I guess, maybe we should go . . ..
As soon as Noah said the word "go" the birds took off. So glad to be free to fly finally, they went soaring back and forth through the rainbow. Ones that went through red stripe became . . . . (get kids to name birds)
Ones that went through blue stripe became . . . . (get kids to name birds)
Ones that went through yellow stripe became . . . . (get kids to name birds)
Some birds so excited they went back and forth through more than one stripe, became multicolored (get kids to name birds).
One bird was SO excited, flew in and out, back and forth, up and down, so fast could hardly see it , covered with an array of iridescent color - became the Hummingbird.