Rain poured down in sheets as Robin looked out the window, mourning the loss of a day spent playing outside the house. Her grandfather demanded quiet, you see, and that meant that a day spent indoors was a day spent in the doldrums of humdrummery, as far as Robin was concerned—quite frankly as far as most people would be concerned, given that the only books in the house were of politics and economics of which there were only charts and figures with no real pictures.
And on a day where there was no school to attend, no friends close to the ancient estate in which she was cooped, and, of course, not a peep to be made, Robin found herself in a state of the melancholy blues.
If anyone who had any experience with the curious and unusual had been around, they would have noticed that there was a tingling in the air. They would have felt that something had tilted, and that everything was not quite ordinary. And they would have known that something magical was about to happen.
But Robin did not have experience with such things, and thus she sat and stared morosely at the drips and drops, here and there, wondering if it was a long way down from where they had fallen—and if it hurt to fall so far. She imagined that the drops lived in a castle far above the clouds, and gathered together for a day of falling fun. They would jump and drip in jumbled groups, letting gravity weigh them down to make puddles in which to splash each other in a jolly, raucous way.
And it was as her watery misery turned to an imagination abandoned of all captivity, that the rain did something unexpected.
Robin blinked. Then blinked again. Surely it could not be happening! But it was.
The rain had formed itself into the image of a child made of droplets, and it was dancing.
Robin laughed delightedly, but the rain-child held up a watered finger to its lips. Robin stifled her laugh, then nodded with solemnity. It would do no good to draw attention to the water-child. It was not something of which her grandfather would approve. For he knew a great many things, but it was about the stock-market and politics—the kinds of things his newspapers and books were made of, and the sort of stuff grownups talk about over dinner. But it was not the same sort of knowledge that she was experiencing, of raindrops that suddenly sprang to life. This was a solemn knowledge. A sacred knowledge. A moment to be treasured, softly, carefully, and delightedly observed.
But all the same, she smiled. Smiles were silent. And one could feel very solemn, and still feel the joy of it when smiling.
The rain danced on, and jumped, and thrilled Robin all day long, until she was so full of delight that she thought she would burst. And that was when the clouds broke, and the sun streamed through, and the rain-child waved goodbye. Robin put her hand to the window glass, and watched her friend disappear.
In her prayers that night, Robin thanked God for the rain-child. She tilted her ear at her window, as she climbed into bed; the rain had come again. And when she slept, she went outside and danced the night away.