55. Rainbow

“Da! Da!”

The bright and cheery seven year old girl ran down the well-worn path of the burrow, and Arthur found himself catching her in his arms as she leapt the last few inches in her excitement. Her bright red curls bounced as she landed, giggling the whole way.

Arthur couldn’t hold in a smile at her exuberance. Moments like this reminded him why they’d moved out of the massive house. There was a false safety indoors, one that he’d seen through the moment he realized that a hunter lived there. Here, in this burrow, his family could be safe, with food they caught and grew themselves. Alyssa could thrive.

“What is it, kiddo?” he asked as he bounced her once in the air and let her drop to the ground. The little girl clasped his hand between hers, and dragged him towards the entrance.

“You gotta see!” she declared, almost digging her heels into the softened dirt under their feet. The last few days of rain had left everything moist. Damp walls, damp hair, damp clothes. The pit of coals burned bright, though, and there was enough heat in that room to keep the elderly warm.

The light increased ahead, and Arthur picked up his little girl to give her a piggyback ride through the last of the mud. Carefully dug canals throughout the burrow served to direct the water into the creek behind their home, but it never got rid of all the water. If the burrow ever flooded, Arthur knew they’d have to find a new home, but so far it had served them well.

“Look!” Alyssa giggled, kicking her muddied feet in excitement. Arthur had to put a hand on her legs to calm them, and he squinted.

Above the tall stalks of grass that grew in the field, blue skies shone. Dark clouds were hovering around the edges, threatening the sanctity of their home, but a rainbow stretched from one end of the world to the other. Arthur caught his breath at the sight, astounded.

Those years they lived in the walls, they’d never had the opportunity to come out of hiding and see something to precious. But now, it was theirs for the taking.

“Thanks kiddo,” Arthur breathed.

Alyssa giggled, and propped her arms on his head. This rainbow was her best find yet.

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