Be like the bird
That pausing for flight
Awhile on boughs too slight
Feels them give way
Beneath her and yet sings
Knowing that she hath wings.
Emily made her way carefully down the moonlit hill. Tree roots crossed the path. Did she imagine it, or did that root try to grab her ankle?
Without warning, she saw the blinding flash of a shooting star. The sound with it grew to a roar and the earth shook. Emily fell to her knees with her hands over her ears and her eyes shut tight. Shaken by an enormous splash, she slowly opened her eyes to see a geyser spouting fire and water in the river. The pillar of water transformed before her into a boil that edged toward the shore. Finally, up and out of the wave, stepped a beautifully painted Dala horse! It looked just like the antique Swedish wooden folk toy she had at home; she could carry that one in her hand. This one was bigger than Hrimnir. And it was alive!
"Do not be afraid, Emily," said the Dala.
"You know my name?" She whispered.
"Yes, I am here to remind you about the gift of the rainbow. It belongs to the One in the heavens of immeasurable greatness who cares for us all. You will be able to catch some rainbow on the wind and hold it in your hands for brief moments of deep wonder, if you learn to see with the eyes of understanding. What you learn will bring you wisdom to keep, but only if you share it. Then you will have happiness, and peace like a river. Treasure it all."
Hrimnir, Gracie, and Lady stretched over the fence as far forward as they could reach. The Dala graciously stepped up to touch their noses in a manner that rewarded them for their faithful care of the girls. The horses lowered their heads with eyes half-closed in deep bliss.
Having completed that mission, the Dala charged up the hill in Payne Hollow. He circled the house with everyone sleeping inside, leaving a trail of stardust there. Bounding back down to Emily with a flourish that said goodbye, he majestically turned to leave.
Star struck as she was, Emily managed the words, "May I hug you before you go?"
The Dala stepped up to her with head bowed low, offering his beautifully arched neck. Emily reached her arms over the graceful curve of it. "Thank you for coming here." She felt a gentle nuzzle on her shoulder, and then her arms were empty. Here eyes must have been closed only seconds with the hug, but when she opened them, he was gone.
"Where are you? Don't go yet! I don't see a rainbow."
Only stardust remained.
"Wait!" She called louder.
She felt herself being shaken.
"Emily, you're talking in you sleep."