short stories

When It Rains: an allegory

Once upon a time there were three sisters. They each had a room in a tall stone tower and a window that looked out upon their part of the kingdom. For yes, these girls were princesses… of sorts.

At the highest level of the tower, with a wide view of the surrounding forest and countryside, lived the eldest sister, Claire. She was smart, beautiful, selfless, and everyone loved her. Each morning, as the beaming sun rose to great the world, she took a Book from off her nightstand, turned its well worn pages, and began to read. Then it would rain. Just a light shower sometimes, and sometimes a downpour.

Each night as the sleepy sun went to rest and the silvery moon rose she knelt down before her bed, bowed her head, and began to pray. Then it would rain. Sometimes light, sometimes a thunderstorm, but it would rain.

The second sister with the second window was not so perfect. I was average-looking, a daydreamer, and didn’t really get much done. Each day as I looked out the window, the view depressed me. The trees were bare and gaunt, the grass yellow and brittle, and the poor people of the small village had to dig deep wells to find water. If it weren’t for the people, I would have given up entirely. And the dream that one day my world would be healthy and green again.

But each morning the beaming sun shone unnoticed upon my sleeping face, and each night the silvery moon looked in to see me furiously scribbling my resolutions for the next day in my journal. But the moon shook his head sadly, knowing they were but dreams and fancies that would rarely come to fruition.

So the trees’ thirst was barely quenched from the sporadic sprinkles from the sky, and the people looked to the heavens in desperation.

But one bright, sunny day I heard a knock on my door. I rarely got visitors for I was rather a hermit and didn’t have many friends. I looked in the mirror to make sure I was presentable, shrugged, and opened the door.

“Hello,” said Claire, her smile a ray of sunshine.

“Hi,” I said, “come on in.”

“No, I have something to show you.” And with that, she grasped my hand and pulled me out the door and up the staircase.

I didn’t protest, partially because I was so surprised. It had been a very long time since I’d been up in Claire’s room. In fact, the memory had become more of a dream. A dream I was running from. But still, I didn’t tug away.

We soon arrived at her room. It was tidied up neatly, with pink flowers on the desk and bright photographs on the walls. But those things paled in comparison to the large Window and it’s breathtaking view. I had almost forgotten what bright green looked like! There was a rolling forest of green leaves, meadows filled with clover and flowers that deer and rabbits munched on, and a thriving village with small gardens, watered by a stream that wound its way through their midst. The open sky above was blue and cloudless, and the sun smiled kindly at me, making me feel like this might be possible after all.

“You can do it,” Claire said, squeezing my arm.

I nodded, determined.

“I’m leaving soon.”

“What?!” I turned to her, surprised.

“I’m not needed here anymore.”

“Where are you going?”

“You don’t need to know that. You must only do what you know is right. You know what you must do.”

I nodded, remembering our poor sister. Now that is a sad story.

I thought of her as I returned to my room.

Dear Jade was thoughtless, miserable, and lonely, but she didn’t know it. No rain touched the pitiful garden she was responsible for. Neither the beaming sun in the morning nor the shining moon at night peaked into her window. I pitied her, but I knew I needed to fix something first.

As soon as I reached my room, before I did anything else, I knelt by my unmade bed, bowed my head, and began to pray. Nothing seemed to happen at first, but then I heard the first few drops splashing. Soon I stopped listening to the outside noises as I poured all my heart, soul, and desire into that prayer. It took a long time before I said “Amen,” but when I raised my tear-stained face I heard it. Steady, pounding, very wet RAIN gushing from the heavens!

Between times of prayer and reading the Book, I began cleaning up my room, thanking God all the time for sending Claire down to show me what could be and to help me commit to Him.

It wasn’t long before the trees perked up and stretched their boughs as if after a long sleep, guzzling the life-bringing water. I laughed and cried as the villagers gazed at the sky with wide eyes and children danced in puddles. Then the sky grew clear and I saw the beaming clean face of the sun. His gaze was cheery and approving.

One morning, later that season, I read from the Book as usual, had a shower, and then I knew it was time.

My little kingdom was still dripping as I set off down the narrow staircase into the darkness below. It seemed a much longer descent since when I’d last visited her.

Knock, knock, knock. I rapped on the old wooden door. It took a while for Jade to answer, and when she did I was startled to see her face so gaunt and weary. But I smiled brightly, thinking of the good news I would soon show her.

“Hello,” I said simply, “I have something to show you.”


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