An original story
In the beginning, Persephone had a meadow garden. It was in this garden that she made flowers, butterflies, bees, and bunnies. Each creature was unique and colorful, except for Dragonfly. Dragonfly was unique in shape and, like the others, loved to eat the floral bounty of the garden. But what made Dragonfly different from the others was that he had no colors. He was grey all over.
One day, while nibbling on a particularly juicy rose, he paused and looked out into the garden. The bees buzzed about from flower to flower dressed in their black and gold. The butterflies flitted in the warm air dressed in red, green, and white. The bunnies hopped in and out of the thickets in all shades of the meadow. Even the flowers that danced in the breeze, where dressed in the best and brightest that color had to offer. Dragonfly stopped munching and inspected himself. “I do not have colors like the others. I am grey all over,” he said, sadly. “I want to be pretty, like the others. I want colors too.”
Dragonfly flew over to Persephone. She held out her hand and Dragonfly sat on it. “Persephone,” said Dragonfly. “I want to be pretty, like the others in the garden. I want to have color.”
“But Dragonfly,” she said. “You are pretty and special. I love you just as I love everything in my garden. You are as I made you, unique and wonderful.”
“I love you too, Persephone, but I still want colors,” said Dragonfly. “I don't feel very pretty at all next to the flowers, the bees, the butterflies, and the bunnies.”
“I'm sorry, Dragonfly. I can't give you what you ask for,” she said. “But if you really want colors that badly, you will have to fly into the great wide world to find them on your own. It's dangerous out there.” Persephone sighed. “You may have to leave us for a long time. Are you sure you want to go?” Dragonfly nodded yes. “Well, then,” said Persephone. “I will scatter the flowers of my garden all over the world. That way, you will have something to eat while you are away. Good luck and remember that we love you.” Dragonfly lifted off her hand and flew away into the big wide world.
Dragonfly traveled to many places and had many adventures. Everyday, he stopped to eat the flowers that Persephone had scattered for him. It reminded him of home and the friends he loved so much. It also reminded him of why he left and that he wanted to return.
One day, he was caught in a terrible storm. The wind blew him this way and that. The raindrops were like boulders from the sky. Dragonfly managed to find a sturdy tree with big, broad leaves to hide from the storm. After many days of rain, the sun finally came out. Dragonfly peeked out from behind the leaves and saw something amazing. Hanging in the sky was a two great bows of color. Dragonfly had never seen a rainbow before and certainly never two at the same time! He was filled with hope and an idea. “If I fly into that then maybe some of the color will fall on my wings,” he exclaimed. Quickly, he lifted off the tree branch and flew to the rainbow.
He flew in and out of the rainbow, trying to get the colors to fall on his wings. Dragonfly did not know that Iris, the Goddess of the rainbow was watching. She laughed watching him fly in and out of the colors of light. Dragonfly heard the laughing. “Who is there?” he asked. “Why are you laughing at me?”
“Oh, Dragonfly,” said Iris as she appeared to him. “I am laughing at you. Why are you flying in and out of my rainbow?”
“I want the colors to fall on my wings so that I can be colorful like my friends in Persephone's garden,” he said. “I do not want to be grey anymore.”
“It doesn't work that way,” replied Iris. “The colors won't fall on your wings.” She saw Dragonfly become very sad. “I can see how much you want colors,” she said. “I can help you with that. But you can't get something for nothing. You must make a trade.”
“I'm just a Dragonfly. What could I trade to get color?” he asked.
“Well, it can't be just anything,” she said. “It has to a sacrifice.”
“What's sacrifice?” Dragonfly asked.
“Sacrifice means giving up something that is very important. It must be so important that you can't think of living without it,” she explained.
“Could I trade my wings? My wings are important,” said Dragonfly.
“Yes, that would be a sacrifice,” said Iris. “But your wings are what you want color for. So, that will not work. You will have to find something else.” Dragonfly got quiet. “Dragonfly, Why don't' you think about it. When you find something, you can find me again.” Dragonfly agreed and the goddess disappeared.
Dragonfly flew back out into the wide world again. This time, he was determined to find something to sacrifice for color. When he was tired, he would find some flowers to eat and rest. Then, he would fly away to search. It wasn't long that the weather made a change. It began to rain again. The wind blew him this way and that. The big raindrops fell hard again. Just as before, Dragonfly found shelter in a sturdy tree with broad leaves. When the rain stopped, he peeked out. He was sad not to see a rainbow this time. Instead, he saw a great wet mist hanging in a large field. In the middle of that field stood a very sad donkey.
Dragonfly flew over to donkey. “Why are you sad, Donkey?” he asked.
“Hush” said Donkey. “You will scare them away.”
“What?” said Dragonfly. “What will I scare away?”
“The mosquitoes,” said Donkey. “The rain brings them and I get covered by them. They are so terrible. But no matter how bad they are I must stand very still and quiet until they go away.”
“If they are terrible, why don't you wave your tail and make them go?” He asked.
“Because the ones on my back are full of my blood. They are lazy and sleepy.” explained Donkey. “When they sleep, they do not leave. If you were to scare them away, more would come. Very soon, I would die because they would drink all my blood. But if these ones, who are full, stay on my back, hungry ones will stay away. I will lose only a little of my blood, but I will stay alive.”
“That is terrible,” said Dragonfly. “I wish I could help you.”
“Oh, it isn't just me,” said Donkey. “They are a terrible pest to Dog, Cat, and even Man! Look behind you.”
Dragonfly turned around. The mosquitoes were everywhere. They surrounded a little house. Man came out to look around, and he waved his arms about. Dog sat very still at the door, covered in mosquitoes. Cat sat not to far away, also covered in mosquitoes. As Dragonfly looked around he saw many other animals covered in mosquitoes. There was Monkey in a tree, Tiger in the grass, Rat in the grain, Bird in her nest, all covered in a cloud of mosquitoes. Dragonfly turned back to Donkey. “That's horrible, Donkey.”
“Yes, it is. And we can do nothing except wait for them to leave,” sighed Donkey.
The sun began to peek out from behind the clouds. It pushed away the mist and scared away the mosquitoes. Dragonfly flew away from Donkey to a flower for lunch. While he sat and ate his flower, Dragonfly thought. “I have been to many places and seen many things. When one creature becomes to many, there is another creature who eats it. Tigers and wolves eat deer. Foxes eat the Bunnies. Butterflies eat Flowers. Why is it that there is nothing to eat mosquitoes?” Dragonfly looked down at his lovely, succulent flower that he had been nibbling on. It was his favorite, a Buttercup. “I bet Mosquitoes taste horrible. For a creature to choose to eat them, would be a great sacrifice indeed.”
Dragonfly stopped chewing. He had found his answer. Quickly, he flew into the sky. “Iris!” He called. “Iris, I have something to sacrifice for color!”
The Goddess appeared to Dragonfly. “Yes, Dragonfly?” she said. “Did you find find something?”
“Yes, Yes!” he said, excitedly. “I will sacrifice eating flowers. I will eat mosquitoes instead. They will taste horrible but it would be helpful to many other creatures on earth. I will sacrifice to be helpful.”
Iris smiled. “Dragonfly, that is a noble sacrifice. To give up something you love on behalf of others, is much better than sacrificing for selfish reasons. Because you have asked for that, I will give you all the colors of my rainbow all over your body.” She waved her hand and Dragonfly sparkled with color. “No Dragonfly will be born the same because you have my blessing.”
That is why Dragonflies are beautiful and come in all colors of the rainbow.