Mar 18, 2023

MADORIN: The goose at the end of the rainbow

Posted Mar 18, 2023 10:05 AM


Shamrocks, leprechauns, and pots o’ gold create St. Patrick’s Day legends. As a child, Iexpected tales Mom told must be true and anyone lucky enough to stumble upon a rainbow’s end would find a leprechauns’ pot of gold. That said, I can’t name a single human who actually found the end of the rainbow with its container filled with precious metal.

As a storyteller’s offspring should, I perpetuated this myth for my children. Naturally, I brought little green folk jigging to life so that our children might envision wee beings at work and play.

After creating a magical world and sending our fair lassies in search of four-leaf clovers, I found a serious problem confronting me when a spring downpour delivered a stunning rainbow.Our eldest was no fool; nor was the youngest. Based on my stories, they knew we had only tofollow this colorful bridge to its end to find shiny coins spilling from a black kettle. 

Karen Madorin
Karen Madorin

​Nothing would do til I loaded tots into our green boat, an old Mercury Marquis, buckledseatbelts, and began searching for the rainbow’s end somewhere between Ellis and Hays. Once on Old 40, we pursued that beacon like bloodhounds on a scent trail.  

With a one-and-a-half-year-old echoing everything she heard, a sharp-eyed five-year-old navigator, plus a visiting friend and her child, we set off to find fortune. Everything’s more fun when shared—especially foolishness.

High spirits and laughter filled our car as we jaunted east. Crossing fingers that the rainbow wouldn’t fade before we found its end, we imagined spending the loot. Girls wanted candy and toys. I wished for something more practical, along the line of a car with a roof-liner that remained glued in place instead of drooping onto the driver’s head.  

As we neared Yocemento, the rainbow’s r-o-y-g-b-i-v colors intensified.  Rounding the bend, we noted the bright arch ended just north and west of Yocemento where Old 40 angled. I turned onto a sandy road to a chorus of, “It’s closer! Look, Mom, it’s just over there!”

Just over there meant I must follow a lane paralleling the north side of Big Creek. I feltnearly as excited as the kids, not because I thought I’d find gold, but because I never expected tosee where a rainbow ended.  

Our navigators nailed it! The search stopped with us parked at the entrance to a muddy drive. We looked in amazement at the exact place where refracted light contacted earth.

Of course, the kids immediately noticed no pot of gold lay on this magical spot. My friend and I rolled down our windows and breathed in a perfect watercolor day intensifying, defining, perfecting hues of rainbow, sky, trees, grass, and soil. It felt like something hand-placedour adventuresome band into a masterpiece.

The story ended perfectly. No gold. No leprechauns. But…a goose--a story book goose, white and prissy—stood where rainbow met grass. It nibbled greens while we gazed. That birdhad no idea of its role in forming a lifetime memory for mothers and daughters on a rainy-day lark. 

Decades later, when I see a rainbow over Yocemento way, I wonder if a white goosestands at its end.