Large grim clouds rolled past, Ernest but he didn’t listen to their grumbling. He was tired of the sameness of his days. He wanted an adventure. No, he decided I want to do something wonderful for someone.
Then to his dismay he heard laughter around him. Stars peeped out from their hiding places to mock him, birds joined in as they flew high into the sky to see what was happening, “you can’t do anything more wonderful than existing. You are a mish mash of colours. A rainbow to brighten peoples days.” On and on went the comments all insisting he was crazy to dream of doing great deeds.
“Not deeds,” he mumbled. “Just one act of kindness, to help someone somewhere.”
As the moon rose and sank to be replaced by the sun over and over again, Ernest began to believe he was wrong and they were correct. He would never be more than a blur of colours flitting about the earth. So, he learned to stay quiet to keep h is dreams hidden, afterall they cannot mock me if they don’t know what I am thinking, can they?
Feeling a little sad and useless he hovered above the earth only appearing when the sun bellowed for him to come out from his hiding place. Then one day he grew tired of this manner of behaviour. He decided to go off on his own and see what he could do.
He used the large grumbling clouds as his cover. This allowed him to zip past huge mountains, vast cities which frightened him with their loudness and false lights. He wondered about people. He didn’t understand them but still he stuck with his idea. Somewhere, he thought someone is looking for help and maybe I am the one to do it.
What this it was he had no idea but it was a comforting thought that he might only know it when it happened.
A child sitting on top of a bale of hay caught his attention. The child was crying. Not a loud harsh cry but a soft whimper, as an animal would do if it were in pain. Ernest let the clouds go on without him he went lower and lower until he could see the child. It was a young boy. He was talking to himself.
“I am not stupid. Someday I will get it right. Anyway they are only sums, not important stuff like bringing Annie home from school safely with me. I didn’t mean to get them wrong. No, I am not stupid or an idiot.”
Ernest felt sad for the young boy. He whispered to him. “No one is truly stupid, I mean some of us are silly sometimes we do the wrong thing without thinking, I think they are called accidents. Anyway I think you are clever if you manage to get Annie home safely.”
The boy stopped sniffling and looked about him. “Where are you?” When he didn’t see Ernest he said, “I am not only stupid I am crazy, talking to myself and answering myself.”
Ernest chuckled and as he did his colours began to grow stronger until the boy could see him. He looked at Ernest and said, “I am Steve, how do you do?”
Ernest didn’t answer for a minute. He was thinking. Steve interrupted his thinking time by asking, “What are you doing here.”
“I came to help you feel better.”
How can you do that? I am stoopid and that is the end of the matter.”
“No you are amazing most people don’t see me unless the sun shines on me. They think the colours just appear they don’t know it is my job to make them appear.”
Steve asked, “can you feel colours.”
Ernest replied, “I do but I don’t know about you but we can test it.”
“Like this.” Ernest gathered all of his colour bands close to him and swooped gently down beside Steve then very slowly Ernest wrapped his many colours around the tiny boy. As he worked he asked, “Well can you feel anything?”
“I feel wonderful, happy and warm. I feel ….” Steve was struggling for a word.
Ernest whispered in his ear. “Remember you are clever to have spotted me, clever to have felt the warmth of the rainbow colours, hold that warmth within you and take these feelings and memories out on days when you feel sad.”
From then on Steve learned to smile from the inside out.