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Chapter 5 The Rainbow's Daughter

  • Toto, now allowed to run about as he pleased, was glad to be free again an_ble to bark at the birds and chase the butterflies. The country around the_as charming, yet in the pretty fields of wild-flowers and groves of leaf_rees were no houses whatever, or sign of any inhabitants. Birds flew throug_he air and cunning white rabbits darted amongst the tall grasses and gree_ushes; Dorothy noticed even the ants toiling busily along the roadway,
  • bearing gigantic loads of clover seed; but of people there were none at all.
  • They walked briskly on for an hour or two, for even little Button-Bright was _ood walker and did not tire easily. At length as they turned a curve in th_oad they beheld just before them a curious sight.
  • A little girl, radiant and beautiful, shapely as a fairy and exquisitel_ressed, was dancing gracefully in the middle of the lonely road, whirlin_lowly this way and that, her dainty feet twinkling in sprightly fashion. Sh_as clad in flowing, fluffy robes of soft material that reminded Dorothy o_oven cobwebs, only it was colored in soft tintings of violet, rose, topaz,
  • olive, azure, and white, mingled together most harmoniously in stripes whic_elted one into the other with soft blendings. Her hair was like spun gold an_lowed around her in a cloud, no strand being fastened or confined by eithe_in or ornament or ribbon.
  • Filled with wonder and admiration our friends approached and stood watchin_his fascinating dance. The girl was no taller than Dorothy, although mor_lender; nor did she seem any older than our little heroine.
  • Suddenly she paused and abandoned the dance, as if for the first tim_bserving the presence of strangers. As she faced them, shy as a frightene_awn, poised upon one foot as if to fly the next instant, Dorothy wa_stonished to see tears flowing from her violet eyes and trickling down he_ovely rose-hued cheeks. That the dainty maiden should dance and weep at th_ame time was indeed surprising; so Dorothy asked in a soft, sympatheti_oice:
  • "Are you unhappy, little girl?"
  • "Very!" was the reply; "I am lost."
  • "Why, so are we," said Dorothy, smiling; "but we don't cry about it."
  • "Don't you? Why not?"
  • "'Cause I've been lost before, and always got found again," answered Doroth_imply.
  • "But I've never been lost before," murmured the dainty maiden, "and I'_orried and afraid."
  • "You were dancing," remarked Dorothy, in a puzzled tone of voice.
  • "Oh, that was just to keep warm," explained the maiden, quickly. "It was no_ecause I felt happy or gay, I assure you."
  • Dorothy looked at her closely. Her gauzy flowing robes might not be very warm,
  • yet the weather wasn't at all chilly, but rather mild and balmy, like a sprin_ay.
  • "Who are you, dear?" she asked, gently.
  • "I'm Polychrome," was the reply.
  • "Polly whom?"
  • "Polychrome. I'm the Daughter of the Rainbow."
  • "Oh!" said Dorothy with a gasp; "I didn't know the Rainbow had children. But _IGHT have known it, before you spoke. You couldn't really be anything else."
  • "Why not?" inquired Polychrome, as if surprised.
  • "Because you're so lovely and sweet."
  • The little maiden smiled through her tears, came up to Dorothy, and placed he_lender fingers in the Kansas girl's chubby hand.
  • "You'll be my friend—won't you?" she said, pleadingly.
  • "Of course."
  • "And what is your name?"
  • "I'm Dorothy; and this is my friend Shaggy Man, who owns the Love Magnet; an_his is Button-Bright—only you don't see him as he really is because the Fox-
  • King carelessly changed his head into a fox head. But the real Button-Brigh_s good to look at, and I hope to get him changed back to himself, some time."
  • The Rainbow's Daughter nodded cheerfully, no longer afraid of her ne_ompanions.
  • "But who is this?" she asked, pointing to Toto, who was sitting before he_agging his tail in the most friendly manner and admiring the pretty maid wit_is bright eyes. "Is this, also, some enchanted person?"
  • "Oh no, Polly—I may call you Polly, mayn't I? Your whole name's awful hard t_ay."
  • "Call me Polly if you wish, Dorothy."
  • "Well, Polly, Toto's just a dog; but he has more sense than Button-Bright, t_ell the truth; and I'm very fond of him."
  • "So am I," said Polychrome, bending gracefully to pat Toto's head.
  • "But how did the Rainbow's Daughter ever get on this lonely road, and becom_ost?" asked the shaggy man, who had listened wonderingly to all this.
  • "Why, my father stretched his rainbow over here this morning, so that one en_f it touched this road," was the reply; "and I was dancing upon the prett_ays, as I love to do, and never noticed I was getting too far over the ben_n the circle. Suddenly I began to slide, and I went faster and faster unti_t last I bumped on the ground, at the very end. Just then father lifted th_ainbow again, without noticing me at all, and though I tried to seize the en_f it and hold fast, it melted away entirely and I was left alone and helples_n the cold, hard earth!"
  • "It doesn't seem cold to me, Polly," said Dorothy; "but perhaps you're no_armly dressed."
  • "I'm so used to living nearer the sun," replied the Rainbow's Daughter, "tha_t first I feared I would freeze down here. But my dance has warmed me some,
  • and now I wonder how I am ever to get home again."
  • "Won't your father miss you, and look for you, and let down another rainbo_or you?"
  • "Perhaps so, but he's busy just now because it rains in so many parts of th_orld at this season, and he has to set his rainbow in a lot of differen_laces. What would you advise me to do, Dorothy?"
  • "Come with us," was the answer. "I'm going to try to find my way to th_merald City, which is in the fairy Land of Oz. The Emerald City is ruled by _riend of mine, the Princess Ozma, and if we can manage to get there I'm sur_he will know a way to send you home to your father again."
  • "Do you really think so?" asked Polychrome, anxiously.
  • "I'm pretty sure."
  • "Then I'll go with you," said the little maid; "for travel will help keep m_arm, and father can find me in one part of the world as well as another—if h_ets time to look for me."
  • "Come along, then," said the shaggy man, cheerfully; and they started on onc_ore. Polly walked beside Dorothy a while, holding her new friend's hand as i_he feared to let it go; but her nature seemed as light and buoyant as he_leecy robes, for suddenly she darted ahead and whirled round in a gidd_ance. Then she tripped back to them with sparkling eyes and smiling cheeks,
  • having regained her usual happy mood and forgotten all her worry about bein_ost.
  • They found her a charming companion, and her dancing and laughter— for sh_aughed at times like the tinkling of a silver bell—did much to enliven thei_ourney and keep them contented.