That night Isabelle and Alastair’s mother tucked them into bed. As she hugged them good night they were enveloped in her love.
And they knew just what to do to help the rainbow.
As the sun rose over the horizon the two children made their way to their Grandmother’s house.
She always seemed to know just when they were coming, for as they came over the rise there she was at the gate of her little cottage.
Her wild white hair curled down her back and her sunny smile welcomed them in to a garden filled with a riot of roses.
Every year lovers came to beg a red rose from their Granny. They said she grew magic roses that could lead them to true love.
“Why have you come to brighten up my day today?” she asked the children smiling.
Isabelle laughed and said, “We love you Granny!”
“I love you too,” she said, “And I think I know what you are here for. Come with me.”
The old lady danced along the winding paths leading to the centre of her garden. In the middle grew a magnificent rose-bush and on it a perfect red rose.
“You can only find your way to true love if your heart is pure,” she said. “That is why I let those who come here wander free through the garden. If they can find their way here, they can find love too.”
She reached up and carefully cut the rose from the tree and handed it to Isabelle.
“Look after it carefully, my dear. Love should always be freely given and expect nothing in return.”
Holding the rose Isabelle and Alastair started the long walk back home to the rainbow.
On their way they heard a couple shouting.
“Why are you fighting with each other?” asked Alastair.
“She doesn’t trust me!” shouted the young man.
“He doesn’t care about me!” shouted the woman.
Alastair looked at Isabelle and she nodded.
She picked a single petal of the rose and passed to the couple.
They breathed in the scent of the rose and immediately they stopped fighting.
“I love you,” they said to one another.
“You see,” said Alastair, “Granny was right, you can only give love, you can’t demand it.”
Not long after they passed a man about to give a small boy a hiding.
“What did he do?” asked Isabelle.
“What did he do? Ha!” said the man, “He disrespects his mother. He disobeys me, his father.”
Isabelle reached down to the rose and gave the man a petal. As soon as touched it, his face changed and all the anger drained out of him.
“I love you my child,” he said to the boy.
The boy looked up all tears forgotten and threw his arms around his father, “I love you too, Daddy” he said.
Then they came across a woman in tears staring at her reflection in the still water of a pond.
“Why are you crying?” they asked.
“I am so ugly,” she said. “No-one will ever love me.”
Isabelle gave her a rose petal.
The young lady wiped her eyes with it and when she looked into the water again she gasped, “Is that me? In the water?”
“Yes,” said the children.
“Am I that beautiful?” she asked.
Isabelle said, “Yes, the magic of the rose has let you love yourself.”
On their way they met many people each who needed love in one way or another. Each time they gave away a petal from the rose.
When they came back to the rainbow they only had one petal left.
“Oh rainbow,” they cried, “We are so sorry, we bought you the rose of love, but we gave away all the petals!”
Suddenly they heard a noise behind them. Turning around they saw all the people they had met that day. Each one carried a petal from the rose. One by one they laid them at the foot of the rainbow.
Isabelle and Alastair told everyone to hold hands and as loud as they could they all shouted together, “We love you Rainbow!”
All at once it began to glow and the rose petals flowed into the arch of red bringing the love of the rainbow back to life.