“Watch closely,” Daddy Raincloud said.
“I’m watching,” Little Raincloud said. “This is going to be great.”
“I’m glad you’re excited,” Daddy Raincloud said. “Someday you’ll be doing this all on your own. Well, follow me. First we pick up water. We’ll just sit here for a while and breathe it in.”
“It’s kind of hard to do,” Little Raincloud said.
“You can do it,” Daddy Raincloud said. “There you go. I can see that it’s working. Now think gloomy thoughts.”
“Like what?” Little Raincloud asked.
“Like how everyone hides under an umbrella when we come, and when we come to a picnic, they all go home,” Daddy raincloud said.
“Oh, that is sad,” Little Raincloud said. He sunk a little lower.
“Now you’re getting it,” Daddy Raincloud said. “Now when you’re floating over the area scheduled for rain, drop the water at a steady rate. Ready, wait a moment, go.” Daddy raincloud started to sprinkle water on the thirsty plants below.
Little Raincloud followed behind him, not raining. “I can’t do it, Daddy,” he said. “I can’t. It won’t work. I need help.”
“Keep trying,” Daddy said. “You can do it.”
Finally, finally, Little Raincloud started to rain. “I did it, Daddy,” he said. He gave a little hop and the rain poured harder.
“Ease up a bit,” Daddy said. “We don’t want a flood. There’s not one scheduled here for another decade. Why don’t you try to send out a rainbow?”
“I like rainbows,” Little Raincloud said. “Please show me how to make one.”
“Catch the light just right, like this, see? Then toss it up gently and let it come back down,” Daddy said. He gently tossed a rainbow out. “Now you try,” he said. “Toss a rainbow just below mine , and we can have a double rainbow.”
Little Raincloud tossed his rainbow out. It fell straight down. He started to cry and the rain came down in sheets too thick to see through.
“Did you toss it up?” Daddy Raincloud asked.
“I tried, Daddy,” Little Raincloud said. “But it didn’t work.
“I wonder what went wrong,” Daddy Raincloud said. He drifted closer to Little Raincloud. “Little raincloud, how long have you been upside down?” he asked.
“Is that what’s wrong?” Little Raincloud asked. “How can you tell which way is up?”
“Rain falls down,” Daddy Raincloud said. He blew a sharp breeze that flipped Little Raincloud the right way up. “Do you want to try again?” he asked.
“Yes,” Little Raincloud said. “What’s next on the schedule?”
“We’re going to go rain on a lake a little way from here,” Daddy Raincloud said.
“Can you teach me how to throw lightning?” Little Raincloud asked.
“Let’s work on your aim first,” Daddy Raincloud said.
Together they rained gently over the lake. They watched the fish rise to the surface and the frogs hide. They gently shook the branches of the trees and listened to the clapping sound the leaves made. At the end of the storm, Daddy Raincloud tossed his rainbow up into the air. Once again, Little raincloud’s rainbow fell straight down.
“Are you upside down again?” Daddy Raincloud asked. “When did that happen?”
“No,” Little raincloud said. “I’m not upside down. I just dropped it this time. Can we try again?”
“Not today. That was the last one on the schedule. Maybe tomorrow,” Daddy said.
“Can we try some lightning tomorrow, too?”
“I don’t think you’ll be ready for lightning for a while yet,” Daddy said. “For now, let’s stick to rainbows.”