The Rainbow People


In the beginning the world was very still and quiet. The ground seemed to be covered with dull-coloured rocks and stones. But, if you took a closer look you could see that they were not stones, but were tiny little people who were not moving at all.

One day a wind blew over the land. It warmed the people and filled them with life and with love. They began to move… to look at each other … to touch each …to speak to each other … to care to care about each other.

As they explored their world they found coloured ribbons lying on the ground. They were excited and ran about collecting them up. Some chose blue, some red, some green, some yellow. They enjoyed tying the ribbons round each other and laughing at the bright colours.

Suddenly another wind blew. This time it made them shiver with cold. They looked at each other. They looked at each other, realised they were different … and stopped trusting each other.

The reds gathered and ran into a corner.

The blues gathered and ran into a corner.

The greens gathered and ran into a corner.

The yellows gathered and ran into a corner.

They forgot that they had been friends and had cared for each other. The other colours just seemed different and strange. They built walls to separate themselves and kept the others out. But they found that:

The reds had water but no food.

The blues had food but no water.

The greens had twigs to make fore but no shelter.

The yellows had shelter but nothing to keep them warm.

Suddenly a stranger appeared and stood in the centre of the land. He looked at the people and the walls separating them in amazement, and said loudly 'Come out everybody. What are you afraid of? Let's talk to each other.'

The people peeped out at him and slowly some came out of their corners into the centre. The stranger said, 'Now, just tell one another what you have got to give and what you need to be given.'

The blues said, 'We have plenty of food to give but no water.'

The reds said, 'We have plenty of water to give but we have no food.'

The greens said, 'We have plenty of wood for a fire but we need shelter.'

The yellows said, 'We have plenty of shelter but we need warmth.'

The stranger said, 'Why don't you put together what you have and share it? Then you can all have enough to eat, drink, keep warm and have shelter.'

They talked and the feeling of love returned. They remembered that they had been friends. They knocked down the walls and welcomed each other as old friends. When they realised that the colours had divided them they wanted to throw them away. But they knew they would miss the richness of the bright colours. So, instead, they mixed the colours to make a beautiful ribbon. They called themselves the Rainbow People. The rainbow ribbon became their symbol of peace.


1999 Carolyn Asker

Taken from The Swans Secret, available from Terracotta Press, c/o 136 Biddulph Mansions, Elgin Avenue, London, W9 1HU

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