This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a cat named Rainbow on an outdoor adventure. Rainbow is any cat of any identification. What would draw a cat outside? Go where the prompt leads!
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Charli has challenged us to write about a cat named Rainbow.
In February 2020, she challenged us to write a story about a library cat named Rainbow who escapes. That prompt was followed up with another the next week to write a story that includes the open road.
I quite liked the idea of a library cat named Rainbow. I believe in the importance of access to libraries for everyone — be it a school, local or national library. A rainbow library cat gives the feeling of a place that is warm, welcoming, comfortable and magical.
I support the organisation Students Need School Libraries and am perplexed and dismayed by the current trend to close school libraries. I don’t understand how we can develop lifelong learners if they don’t have access to the tools to help them research what they want to know as well as books to read for enjoyment. Research tools include books as well as digital resources.
I also support the wonderful organisation Library For All, an Australian not for profit organisation with a mission to “make knowledge accessible to all, equally” through a digital library of books that is available free to anyone anywhere in the world. The focus is on providing high quality, engaging, age appropriate and culturally relevant books to children in developing countries and remote areas. I am delighted to have donated more than ten books to the collection, two of which are already published. While the digital books are available free, print copies can be purchased from Amazon.
I thought that, if you haven’t already or may have forgotten, you may like to read my original two stories in response to Charli’s previous prompts. To save you going back to read them, which you are welcome to do of course, I include them here for your convenience. Click on the title to read the post.
This is my response to the first prompt:
The library cat is fatter than fat.
She sits by the door on the welcome mat.
She greets the readers as they come in —
Nods her head with a welcome grin.
Sometimes she’s in. Sometimes she’s out.
She’s especially quiet when a reader’s about.
She sits so still you can see her purr
When the reader strokes her rainbow fur.
She’s heard every story there is to be told.
Even the classics never grow old.
But read her stories of adventures rare
She twitches her whiskers, “I’ve been there.
No need of a cape. Reading books is my escape.”
This is my response to the second prompt:
Rainbow Cat clawed through the rubble. One by one she pulled out the survivors — Little Red Riding Hood, Little Miss Muffet, The Gingerbread Man; even Wolf who promised to behave.
“Where are we going?” squealed the Three Little Pigs as they piled onto the bus.
“Where children will love us, like before.”
For many, this was their first time beyond the covers of a book. As the bus roared down the open road, they peered through the windscreen and out the windows, dreaming up new adventures yet untold.
Spontaneously, they burst into a chorus of On the Road Again.
After writing the first Rainbow Cat episode, I developed it into a picture book manuscript. It has undergone a few revisions and suffered a few assessments, but so far no luck with publication. It needs more work still. One day …
This time, I thought I’d go in a slightly different direction with a new cat named Rainbow and an outdoor adventure unrelated to the others. I hope you like it.
Rainbow Cat’s Outdoor Adventure
Right on cue, the tabby sprang into the yard as the children tumbled out, scattering to various activities. Some stopped for cuddles before choosing. One picked it up, determined it would be his for the day. Preferring to be master of its own decisions, with a wriggle and a scratch, the cat leapt from arms into pots of liquid colour. The fingerpainters squealed as they became the canvas for the unintentional artist. Rainbow hands grabbed the cat scratch-scrambling on masterpieces spread to dry. The cat hissed and bounced away to safety as the children chanted, “Rainbow cat! Rainbow cat!”.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.