Once upon a time there was a cloud that was very little. He was a happy cloud that loved just about everything about being a cloud. Everything, that is, except being little.
He loved to watch the sun rise high up to meet him. He loved to jet around from place to place and watch the people and the animals working below. He loved to pass in front of the moon when it was big and full. And he really loved to hear the angels singing above him.
God’s kingdom was so great and vast that you did not really know where it began or where it ended, and the little cloud loved that too. But every day he wished he were bigger. The other clouds that were big and mighty pushed their way around the heavens. The little cloud had to wait to be pushed by the wind or by one of the big clouds.
One day something on earth got his attention. Some men were building a big wooden structure and they seemed to be bringing lots of animals to it. He asked the big cloud passing by if she knew what it was. “That is Noah,” the big cloud replied, “and he is doing just what God asked.”
A few days later the little cloud heard the other clouds talking about something that was going to happen soon.
“Rain,” one of the clouds complained, “We have never had to carry water before!”
“It is going to be so heavy,” added another cloud.
“What if it changes our beautiful white color?” asked another.
The little cloud could not be quiet any longer. “What are you talking about?” he asked.
At her question the rest of the clouds grew silent. Finally one spoke up. “God has asked us to collect water, and rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights. We have never had to do such a job before.”
The little cloud smiled. “I have never carried water either, but if God asks me to do a job for him, I will be the happiest cloud ever!”
With that he moved away with a little help from the wind. The other clouds were still not sure about God's request. One of them spoke up, “The little cloud is right. If that is what God wants, we need to get ourselves ready.”
The big clouds began to prepare for the big day. They filled themselves with as much water as they could take, and waited.
Finally, the day came and God told the clouds it was time. The sky fell dark as the clouds gathered together and squeezed out the rain. The whole earth began to be swallowed up by the water.
The little cloud watched as the days passed. He wished again that he was bigger and that God would have asked him to do this job.
After several weeks even the big clouds were getting very tired of all the rain. It looked like it would never stop. Poor Noah and his family were out on all that water all alone.
After 40 days had almost passed, God asked to see the little cloud. “The rain will stop today, little cloud,” he said. “I have been saving a very important job just for you. I want you to let Noah and his family know that it is over and they are safe.”
“But I am just a little cloud, how can I. . .” The little cloud remembered what he had told the big clouds about doing what God asked. “OK,” he said, “what do I do?”
God smiled and held the little cloud gently in his hand. He parted the big clouds that were covering the sky and put him down right in the middle. Suddenly a big light was behind him and the light flowed from the little cloud all the way to the earth.
The little cloud was amazed at how beautiful the light was. It was many different colors and they all touched the earth together. He smiled in delight and looked back up at God. God told the little cloud that the magical lights were called a rainbow. The rainbow was a promise from God not to flood the earth again.
The little cloud was so happy and proud to be the very first rainbow cloud that he never wished to be big again.