It happened. I saw a rainbow touching the ground. I was immediately transformed into little me. I squeed with excitement, really loud. I was so excited I couldn’t contain it. I was really happy and then my happy face transformed from a fierce smile to fear. I was scared of the Rainbow Goblins. I thought for sure they were coming.
Growing up as an only child I was spoiled in many ways. The most significant spoiling however was one that I would use to my advantage every time I could. This way that I was spoiled was so important that I passed it down to my own kids as a right, not a gift. The right to books. Books, just because.
I remember seeing the cover of the Rainbow Goblins. It was the art that mesmerized me and forced to me sit on the floor of the bookstore unwilling to leave until I got to take that book home. My mini temper tantrum worked just as I had hoped it would. Spoiled.
There is no other book like it. A children’s book masquerading in a what could be a horror story hiding a metaphor that changes every time I read it. The art is beautifully surreal. Pretty enough to pull in a kid or enthrall an adult. The story as far as I am concerned is true.
The Rainbow Goblins are real. One representing each color of the rainbow. They are dirty, nasty little thieves. The goblins have to steal rainbows to survive. Not enough to just steal them and keep the beauty hidden away, each goblin needed to drink the essence of the rainbow to live. They would plot and scheme and then, as as the rainbows would touch down, they would each lasso their own respective color, and drink the rainbow away.
Until one day. Spoilers, sweetie…
A night full of thunder and lightning in the sky, the goblins were celebrating the storm. They knew there would be a rainbow soon to come. Storms always pass. They plotted against the rainbow and dreamt of stealing all of her beauty. But, they were overheard. The flowers in the fields and the weeds in the caves plotted against the goblins to teach them a lesson. In the morning, the goblins went to find a beautiful rainbow and as their lassos flew into the air the flowers absorbed all of her essence. Then in a morbid and psychedelically illustrated moment the flowers pour the essence into the field and drown the goblins.
Wait this is a book for kids?
The rainbow in a moment of gratitude having been saved from total destruction transforms the flowers into beautiful tropical birds.
But after that moment, after the flowers conspired against the goblins, the rainbows would never touch the ground again. Rainbows had learned a lesson.
When I saw the rainbow touching the ground I remembered that sometimes we have to repeat a lesson. Sometimes we have to repeat a lesson. I witnessed that sometimes it is ok to be brave in the face of danger. I saw defiance and pride in a rainbow brushing the petals of flowers. I remembered joy as a kid with a wee one squee.
I found my copy of the Rainbow Goblins on the shelf in the library, battered and worn from scores of page turning and packing into boxes. Pages have come out of the binding, but they are not lost. That book has come with me everywhere I’ve lived. I read it again, it had been a few years. This time I felt that at its heart, this is a story of transformation. This is a story of defeating those who conspire against you with planning and kindness. This is a story of sacrifice, support and gratitude.
There’s a lot we could learn from the Rainbow Goblins. They sought out beauty in the world, which is a good thing. We also learn to not be greedy because that never ends well. We learn that all storms pass, to remember that the world will rise up and protect beauty worth saving, and that we can be the protectors.
Time for another tattoo.