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Milly sat under the apple tree and watched the rain clouds sweep over the hills. What a wet day!
She ate an apple and waited for the rain to stop. Soon it did. The sky turned blue again, and the Sun shone, warm and golden.
Then she saw the rainbow. It began as an explosion of light, high in the clouds. The sky filled with dazzling colours: blue, orange, green and purple. Then both ends of the rainbow began to fall to Earth…
The rainbow landed in the garden.
‘Wow!’ Milly went closer and touched the rainbow. She felt nothing, just air. But the colours moved beneath her fingers.
When she looked up, the rainbow seemed to be stretching on and on into space.
‘What would happen if I stepped inside it?’ she wondered. There was only one way to find out…
She stepped inside.
It was beautiful! And very quiet. Milly couldn’t hear anything.
She looked up. The rainbow seemed to go on forever…
WHOOSH! Milly was sucked up by the rainbow. It was a tunnel of light. She whizzed along like a button up a vacuum cleaner. Wind whistled past her ears. She tumbled over and over but didn’t hurt herself: she was carried on a soft cushion of air. Up and up and up she went, so fast.
But rainbows go up… and rainbows come down. Soon she was falling down the far side of the rainbow. She could see green below. Green grass, rushing up to meet her, faster and faster…
BUMP! She landed hard, but nothing was broken.
Milly stood up. She was on the other side of the valley, standing on a steep green hill. She could see her house, far away. It was like a tiny white box with a rainbow in the garden. Everything was calm and peaceful and very lovely…
WHOOSH! Suddenly she was shooting back through the rainbow, faster than a firework. Red, blue, yellow … stripes of light, flashing by.
Up, up, up she went and down, down, down… BUMP. She landed back in her own garden.
‘Oww…!’ Milly groaned. ‘I am going to be so bruised tomorrow.’
Then she had a thought…
‘GOLD! There is always gold at the end of a rainbow!’
She dropped to her knees and started to dig. The earth flew out behind her, covering the grass with stones and soil.
‘Come on, come on! It must be here somewhere…’
She went deeper and deeper. Then she saw something shiny, under her fingertips. She pulled it out.
Milly stared at it, breathless with excitement. It was a golden coin, bigger than usual money and much heavier. She rubbed it clean. There were words written on it:
Make a wish before the rainbow fades.
‘Oh wow!’ she said. ‘This is amazing! A wish!’
Her head began to fill with ideas, everything she could wish for. But then she saw something. The rainbow was starting to fade. It was going thin at the edges.
‘No! I haven’t made up my mind! Please – wait!’
But the rainbow didn’t wait. It was fading. Going away, and taking her wish with it.
‘No! I’ll make my wish soon. Just a moment, please!’
But still the rainbow was fading. The golden coin was getting hot in her hand.
‘Ohh….! Choose… choose… Yes. YES! I have it!’
Milly closed her eyes and made her wish and VOOMF! The rainbow disappeared, and so did the golden coin.
Milly hardly dared to move. Had her wish come true?
She looked up. The sky was peacock blue. The Sun was golden, warm on her face. Such a beautiful day. Such a beautiful world.
‘Even if the wish doesn’t come true, I am a very lucky girl,’ she said. And she smiled.