Tiny hopped out of bed and flung open the curtains. An arc of mini rainbow clouds hovered in the pale morning sky, as though a flying carnival train had chugged across the horizon. Tiny’s thoughts began to dance—rainbows were one of her favourite things. They were so loving, so beautiful, so generous with their joy. She ran downstairs to thank it before it vanished.
Tiny raced down Orange Blossom Lane, pausing to check the sky—the rainbow was still there. She charged past the entrance to the Wild Briar Wood, flew by Madam Orly’s ornate iron gate, and stopped to catch her breath by Old Man Guthrie’s vegetable patch. The kaleidoscopic clouds floated directly overhead. A light glinted between the branches of an old oak tree—its brilliance was blinding.
Tiny gasped. “It’s a pot of gold! This must be the end of the rainbow!”
She clambered up and through the branches, but as she drew nearer, she realized the pot of gold was actually a carefully woven nest, spun from a delicate gold thread. A muffled tweet floated from inside, releasing a teeny rainbow cloud into the air.
“Hello, is anyone there?” Tiny called into the nest.
“Chup, chup, cheepy cheepy, cre cre cree. Tiny, kindly set me free,” came a mechanical response.
Tiny peered into the hole. A small gold bird sat inside. It was no larger than an egg, and made of dazzling gold. In place of feathers, there were cogs and gears, levers and wheels, with a key that stuck out from its side. It cranked its head to face her.
“Cree,” hummed the wind-up bird, “please let me free.”
Tiny held her chin in her hand, and frowned. What should she do? Someone had built this sweet creature, and they’d surely miss it. On the other hand, it was out in the world—singing, and dreaming, and breathing out rainbows. The wind-up bird blinked rapidly, revealing the tiniest gold watch dials for eyes. They struck the hour, and chimed.
Tiny knew what to do. Without hesitation, she reached into the nest, and pulled on the bird with both hands. It was heavy and awkward, but she twisted and heaved until the bird rolled onto the branch with a clunk. It stared at her, watch-dials whirring in both directions, and smiled.
Tiny rose to her feet and waved as the mechanical bird flapped its stiff wings, rising high, until it was just a speck of gold against the glittering sun. She gazed around her—her heart close to bursting—for blazoned across the skies of Treetops, was the most magnificent rainbow.