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The Rainbow Cannon, by Robert P. Vermillion, Jr. — Page 2 of 5




The Rainbow Cannon

 

2… TENSE MOMENTS _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ GOING ON FOOT.

“What's happening?” a deer asked.

“What's going on?” a skunk said.

“Where's the rainbow?” everybody wanted to know.

Everyone was asking, but no one was answering because no one knew. For some strange reason, for the first time anyone could remember, there was no rainbow. Thinking that it might just be late, the world's animals waited out the tense moments until, they hoped, a rainbow would finally appear. In time, they got their wish – and immediately wished they hadn't.

There, stretched across the horizon, was a bizarre sight. It was a rainbow, yes, but not like any that the world's animals had ever seen. It was made not of seven arcs of glorious color, but seven arcs of dreary gray (the darkest not quite black and the lightest not quite white).

The world's animals didn't know what to think or what to say. They slowly emerged, cautious and scared, and soon formed small groups all over the planet, none of them wanting to be alone during a strange and frightening time.

Among the puzzled creatures, perhaps the most confused of all were the Rainbow Big Flops. Whenever it came time to launch a rainbow, they would all appear from the air, here and there, and come together in a special clearing kept just for them. They would form a rainbow cannonball, launch it and watch the clouds evaporate and the blue sky return. Except, that's not how it went that day.

Rudolph, Olivia, Yorick, Gary, Bunny, Isabel and Violet appeared from the air, here and there, but when they made it to the clearing where they kept the Rainbow Cannon, they all had blank looks on their furry faces. That was because, in the middle of the clearing where the cannon usually was, it wasn't. Something had happened to it and, without it, there would be no rainbows.

“But... I don't understand. Where's the Rainbow Cannon?” Rudolph asked.

“I don't know... shouldn't it be here?” Olivia said.

“It should be. But it's not,” Yorick said, his big floppy feet standing where the cannon used to be.

“Well, why? What happened to it?” Gary said, walking over to Yorick.

“I think someone took it,” Bunny said. Everyone stopped cold and thought about that.

“Who? Who would do that?” Isabel asked.

“And how? How did they get it out of here?” Violet said, not seeing tracks where it could have been rolled out of the clearing or picked up in a truck. She didn't see tracks of deer, skunks, squirrels or anything. However, someone or something had stolen the Rainbow Cannon, and they needed to find out who and get it back or there would be no more rainbows.

Poof! Filling the air was the familiar sound of a cannon launching and all of the Rainbow Big Flops wondered if it might be theirs, or the Gray Day Big Flops' cloud cannon. They thought the storm was over and that there wouldn't be any more clouds, but then that got them wondering, in the short seconds before they all saw it, what the noise was.

Then, stretching from as far east as one could see to as far west, there appeared a rainbow. It was a rainbow, yes, but not like any they had ever seen. It was made not of seven arcs of glorious color, but seven arcs of dreary gray (the darkest not quite black and the lightest not quite white).

The Rainbow Big Flops didn't know what to think or what to say. They drew together, cautious and scared, none of them wanting to be alone during a strange and frightening time.

“It's a... gray-bow,” they all said as they held one another, nervous and scared.

“Well,” Rudolph said, “that could have come from only one place – the Gray Way.”

“Wouldn't that mean the Gray Day Big Flops took it?” Olivia asked.

“I'd have to think so,” Yorick said, hating that thought.

Frankly, they all hated it.

The Gray Day Big Flops were their friends, as were all the world's animals, even though they had never met furry face to furry face. In fact, they had never left Rainbow Arcs in all their lives and, until then, neither had the Gray Days left the Gray Way. But, for some reason and at some time, they left their only home and crossed halfway around the world to Rainbow Arcs, took the cannon and went back.

“I thought friends didn't do that to each other,” Gary said, understandably upset.

“They don't – or, at least, they didn't,” Bunny said, also unhappy.

Isabel said, “And they still might not have. We don't know, but there's only one way to find out.”

Violet finished the thought, “Go there and see for ourselves.”

They couldn't deny it. The Rainbow Big Flops had to leave Rainbow Arcs, travel across the world on their big floppy feet, and go to the Gray Way. They would just appear there, as they did in Rainbow Arcs; but never having seen the Gray Way, they couldn't do any appearing. To appear somewhere, they would first have had to have seen it. Never having seen it, they had to get there the old-fashioned way: on foot.

The 7 Rainbow Bunnies going on foot.

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