(See also Arthur the Rat and Comma Gets a Cure)
When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act as a prism and
form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many
beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path
high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon.
There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of gold at one end. People
look, but no one ever finds it. When a man looks for something beyond his
reach, his friends say he is looking for the pot of gold at the end of the
Throughout the centuries people have explained the rainbow in various
ways. Some have accepted it as a miracle without physical explanation. To
the Hebrews it was a token that there would be no more universal floods.
The Greeks used to imagine that it was a sign from the gods to foretell
war or heavy rain. The Norsemen considered the rainbow as a bridge over
which the gods passed from earth to their home in the sky.
Others have tried to explain the phenomenon physically. Aristotle
thought that the rainbow was caused by reflection of the sun's rays by the
rain. Since then physicists have found that it is not reflection, but
refraction by the raindrops which causes the rainbows.
Many complicated ideas about the rainbow have been formed. The
difference in the rainbow depends considerably upon the size of the drops;
the width of the colored band increases as the size of the drops
increases. The actual primary rainbow observed is said to be the effect of
a super-imposition of a number of bows. If the red of the second bow falls
upon the green of the first, the result is to give a bow with an
abnormally wide yellow band, since red and green light when mixed form
yellow. This is a very common type of bow, one showing mainly red and
yellow, with little or no green or blue.
The Rainbow Passage can be found on page 127 of the 2nd edition of Grant
Fairbanks' Voice and Articulation Drillbook
(New York: Harper &