Once Upon a Time…
There was beautiful princess. The princess loved to play in the forest and with all the creatures in her magical kingdom. She would dance and sing all day long with her forest friends. There wasn’t an inch of the forest she hadn’t seen! She was so happy and always smiling. If a forest creature was sad, she would do everything she could to make them happy again. The princess’s laughter was magical indeed; it could make the gloomiest of days bright for any creature in the forest. It was the most powerful magic in all the 5 kingdoms. Unfortunately though, the princess had a small hole in her heart that kept her from sharing her magic with the other kingdoms. She very much longed and yearned to share her magical laughter with everyone she could and she grew frustrated each day that passed and she couldn’t share her joy with more hearts.
One day, while the princess was playing with her best pal along the river, a magical bird appeared on a low branch in the tree behind her. The bird watched the princess play and recognized the powerful magic behind her laughter. This bird was also able to see the little hole in her heart, preventing her from reaching her true potential. The bird whistled loud and sweet to get the young princess to turn around. The princess was in shock when she noticed the brightly colored bird, perched on the tree branch. The princess excitingly ran over to look up at the bird. Her eyes were bright and filled with curiosity when the bird spoke to her, “Young one, do you wish to fill the hole inside your heart?”
“Oh, yes!,” the princess exclaimed, “Nothing in the world would make me happier!”
The bird’s beak turned up into a smile. He stared the princess straight on and spoke again, “If you were to fill the hole inside your heart, young princess, would you share your miraculous blessings with the rest of the 5 kingdoms, or would you only share your joy and love with this one?”
The princess wrinkled her brow, placed her fists on her hips, and tilted her head in disgust. She stared back at the bird with the most stern of looks and spoke again as well, “What kind of question is that you silly bird? It would be selfish and terrible of me to keep this kind of power and magic to myself. It would only please me to share it with as many people as I could!”
The bird seemed satisfied at hearing the princess speak. He nodded, acknowledging her answer and said, “Then I will give you the key to what your heart desires most. If you wish to fill this hole, and gain the ability to share your magic with the rest of the world, you will need to find a Rainbow, hold it, and give it your whole heart. You must have faith in my words, though.”
The princess really frowned at that response. How confusing, she thought, Give her heart to a rainbow? Have faith in what, words from a bird? That sounded impossible and insane. Before she could ask the colorful bird what he meant, a spiral of dust, whisked him away.
The princess returned to her castle that night, disappointed and with a headache. She told her mother and father of the bird and his words. They told her that she should take the message seriously and listen to the bird. They told her that he was a great spirit who visited all the princes and princesses of their kingdoms to guide them. The princess’s head spun, her stomach turned, and her dreams ran wild with confusing scenarios. When she woke the next morning, a double rainbow could be seen through her bedroom window. Her eyes show wide open and her heart started to race. She threw on her clothes and ran outside. She took note of the first rainbow’s location and began running to it. As she approached the base of the rainbow, it disappeared. Determined to share her magic with the kingdoms and keep faith in the bird’s word, she ran after the second. Again, just as she let excitement creep into her heart that she could reach this beam of colorful lights, it too disappeared. She kicked the dirt below her feet and stomped in anger. She’d never heard of such a thing, to hold a rainbow! She decided to go back to what she knew and she continued to dance through the forest and share her magic with her forest friends.
A few years went by and the princess was growing into quite a magnificent young woman. She was learning more and more every day. Still, she knew she had this hole in her heart and she would never truly be whole until it was filled. Thinking back to the bird and his words, “Have faith.” She huffed and puffed at the thought. Holding a rainbow was impossible. She knew that now. Still, a part of her wanted to try again. That night, she dreamt of clouds, fairies, and rainbows dancing across the skies. When she awoke the next morning, she headed into the forest on her horse. She loved early morning rides along the river. As she stopped near the end of the river bend, she looked past a row of trees and saw a rainbow. It was so clear, she thought she was still dreaming for a moment. Something stirred inside her that she couldn’t quite name. Her heart began racing and she smiled. She pushed her horse to run and before long they were sprinting through the forest. She could feel herself getting closer and closer to the rainbow. The magic was there, she could tell. She started to hope and to have faith again. This was it, she would finally find and hold the rainbow. She still wasn’t quite sure how to give it her whole heart but she was determined to try to figure it out in the end. She was closer than she had ever been to any rainbow! Her excitement was peaking when suddenly the rainbow began to fade away. Her horse started to slow down, her heart still racing fast. She could feel the magic fading as her faith was too. The rainbow flickered a few times before it was nowhere to be seen again. She stopped in the middle of the field and spun in circles for several minutes. No sign of the rainbow. Her horse looked at her with sadness in his eyes, he could sense her pain building. She brushed the side of his face gently and kissed him above his brow. Then they turned and headed back to the castle, very slowly.
The princess couldn’t help but cry herself to sleep that night. She was so mad at herself for allowing herself to get so excited. She was frustrated too. She wanted to be mad at the bird for not telling her more; for not telling her HOW to find and hold a rainbow. She was afraid that she would never be able to share her magic with more creatures and more kingdoms. She was afraid she would never fulfill her dreams or have a full heart. Could she ever truly be happy if she did not succeed?
The next afternoon, she saw another rainbow off in the distance; not too far, though really. She could possibly get to it fairly quickly, but she was still too hurt from the day before, she didn’t dare try again. She sat still, eating her apple, going about her normal daily things, instead. She watched as the rainbow, slowly faded away in the distance. As it did, she felt her face get hot and wet. She looked around to see no rain falling. She wiped at her face and realized she was crying. She had barely felt any sadness and yet her face was soaked in salty streams. It was like she could no longer feel anything.
Days passed and still she felt nothing. She felt no sadness, no joy, and only little amounts of anger from time to time. Her forest friends became concerned but she assured them she was fine. The King and Queen even began to question if she was alright. Everyone but her seemed to notice something was different. Every night she dreams of the bird and his conversation. Every morning she cried and then she screamed and threw things around her room. She felt the hole in her heart growing bigger with each new moon that came and passed.
A couple more years passed and the princess was to be crowned Queen. It was a beautiful ceremony and all of her forest friends attended. Her mother and father were so proud of her. They were supporting and kind. They did everything they could to make sure the day was perfect for her. Just before bed, her mother asked her if she had heard or seen the bird recently. The princess, now Queen of her kingdom, shook her head, no and frowned. Her mother, tucked her into bed and told her, “Have faith, my child. It is the only way.” There was that pesky little coupling of words again, have faith. The Queen rolled her eyes in her mind, faith didn’t help her hold the rainbow and share her magic. It hadn’t done anything for her yet. Her mother and father could sense her resistance and they decided to share their own story of faith and the bird. After hearing their experience, the Queen was still skeptical and her parents sensed this too, so they continued to share stories from the other kingdoms. They told their daughter that she should seek out this bird again in the forest and that should shouldn’t give up until she found him again. So the next day, that is exactly what the newly crowned Queen did.
After a very long and hard day of searching for the bird, the Queen heard the familiar loud, sweet whistle behind her. She spun around on her heels and saw the beautiful and colorful bird perched on a rock. He was glowing with magic and power she didn’t remember from before. She could feel it too. He smiled. She smiled back. When he spoke, she felt the power in his words, “Have faith, for I know the future plans I have for you, young child.”
Even though she felt his words differently this time, she still held some doubt, “But magnificent bird, you told me I could share my magic with the world and hold a rainbow, yet I cannot get close enough to do so. You tell me to have faith and yet every time I do, the dream is ripped away from me before I can touch it. I am suppose to be magical and able to do this!”
The colorful bird’s smile grew even bigger, “Young one…humble yourself. Under my mighty hand, I will lift you up in due time. Trust. Have faith.” And with those words ringing her the Queen’s ears, the bird lifted his massive wings and with one downward motions, faded into a million different colors. For a brief second, she could see a thousand tiny rainbows in wake.
The Queen thought long and hard about what the bird had to say. She decided to make some changes in her life and began to love and worship the bird. She no longer felt anger or confusion at him, but instead she decided to put all her trust, hope, and faith into the bird and his love. She built statues of the bird all around her kingdom and told stories of the magnificent bird to all the people and creatures in her kingdom. When other kingdom officials came to visit and celebrate holidays, she shared the wisdom of the bird with them too. Eventually, she felt the hole in her heart starting to become smaller again. She researched day and night about rainbows too. Then, while helping rebuild a beaver’s dam on the river one day, she saw a rainbow appear. It was a small rainbow, but it was bright. She felt her heart race and took off after it will full faith. It was so far away and she was anxious, but she kept running. Her forest friends joined her this time. They were running for what seemed like days, before they finally neared the base of the rainbow. She extended her hand to touch the rainbow, and it melted into rainbow dust that floated away slowly on the breeze. She dropped to her knees and began sobbing. So close again, and yet she couldn’t hold it. She fell forward into her hands and stayed on the ground for 3 days. She cried the whole time. Finally, when the tears stopped flowing, she stood up and looked to the trees. She imagined the bird perched there, watching her. She spoke loud enough for whole forest to hear her, “I will not lose faith! I did not hold this rainbow but one day I will hold a rainbow for the first time and it will be beautiful. I don’t know what plans you have for me or for all of this, magnificent bird, but I will continue to trust that it is something spectacular and that it isn’t up to me to determine when.” With a deep breath, she started her journey back to her castle, where she would be comforted by her parents and her forest friends.
Spring turned to Summer quickly it seemed. The Queen was having the most amazing summer with her forest friends and her parents. The castle and kingdom were flourishing too. The Queen even made several trips to visit the beauties of the other 5 kingdoms. She was finally sharing more of her magic with the world, even if she still had a small hole in her heart.
The Queen had just returned from the Kingdom of Lights and was packing to visit the Kingdom of Colors, when she decided to walk the castle grounds and get some fresh air. She was singing and skipping along, when suddenly she heard some loud thunder. She looked toward the forest and saw the dark storm clouds unloading their heavy sorrows across the trees. She saw a large, colorful bird soar out of the tree line and past the setting sun. It was a beautiful and magical artistry she wished she could capture for a lifetime. Another loud crack of thunder and lightning drew her attention back to the storm and the forest. Then suddenly, she rains stopped. As the grey clouds faded away and the sun poked through the trees again, she saw something growing in the distance between the trees. It was a rainbow. She smiled, slightly nervous and a whole lot of anxious. The Queen checked that her shoes were tied and her faith on full blast, and she took off towards the rainbow. She was quiet and swift in her movements. No one noticed her racing into the forest, past the beaver dam, and along the river. Creatures scurried out of her way and a few began to follow. The trees themselves seemed to be cheering her on as she ran, faster and faster. The rainbow shook and flickered but stayed steady in the end. The Queen didn’t hesitate and kept pushing forward. She no longer though too much about what could happen when she almost reached the rainbow, she just kept faith in tact and hoped for the best. A few tree stumps tried to slow her down but she leapt over them like a graceful gazelle. She dug deep into her soul and muscles and pushed harder, forcing her legs to move faster. She felt the buzz of the magic and began to taste victory. She felt her smile growing wider and wider. She started laughing and her laughter filled the forest around her with a magic she hadn’t seen in a long time. Just a few more feet to go. Her laughter grew louder, more powerful. When she was just about an arm’s length away, she jumped up and forward to the rainbow, arms wide open. She closed her eyes, sweat dripping down her face, no they were tears again. She was sobbing again uncontrollably, but she was also laughing and smiling. Magic buzzed all around her, forest creatures cheered, and even the setting sun seemed to smile and dance with her. When she opened her eyes, she saw it…
The rainbow was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen in all her years of life. Nothing in all the kingdoms could even compare to the beauty or the colors of the rainbow. Her tears were joyful tears, because she could feel her heart becoming whole, finally. She was holding the rainbow. Her smile reached ear to ear now and she knew she had already given this rainbow all of her heart and so much more. The bird appeared again before her, smiling. He didn’t need to speak, for they both already knew, even without words. The rainbow began to sparkle and blink in the Queen’s arms. She finally felt all the magic and power of a full heart. She knew she would be able to share her joy and love with all the kingdoms and more now!
The rainbow began to shrink and a light mist formed around it. She kept her arms in place and closed her eyes. She listened to all the sounds around her and felt the magic flowing through her and around her. She could taste the colors on every breath and the air smelled of lavender and blossoms. When she opened her eyes, the bird was gone again. She felt a strange weight in her hands and heard a soft “coo.” When she looked down, she saw the most beautiful thing she had ever seen and rainbows danced in its eyes as they looked at each other with unconditional love and adoration. In that moment, the Queen vowed to always chase rainbows and never give up on her Faith.
The End… Or maybe, it is truly the beginning.