The Story of the Wind
Once upon a time there dwelt two brethren in one village, and one brother was very, very rich, and the other brother was very, very poor. The rich man had wealth of all sorts, but all that the poor man had was a heap of children.
One day, at harvest-time, the poor man left his wife and went to reap and thresh out his little plot of wheat, but the Wind came and swept all his corn away down to the very last grain. The poor man was exceeding wrath thereat, and said, “Come what will, I’ll go seek the Wind, and I’ll tell him with what pains and trouble I had got my corn to grow and ripen, and then he, forsooth! must needs come and blow it all away.”
So the man went home and made ready to go, and as he was making ready his wife said to him, “Whither away, husband?”––“I am going to seek the Wind,” said he; “what dost thou say to that?”––“I should say, do no such thing,” replied his wife. “Thou knowest the saying, ‘If thou dost want to find the Wind, seek him on the open steppe. He can go ten different ways to thy one.’ Think of that, dear husband, and go not at all.”––“I mean to go,” replied the man, “though I never return home again.” Then he took leave of his wife and children, and went straight out into the wide world to seek the Wind on the open steppe.
He went on farther and farther till he saw before him a forest, and on the borders of that forest stood a hut on hens’ legs. The man went into this hut and was filled with astonishment, for there lay on the floor a huge, huge old man, as grey as milk. He lay there stretched at full length, his head on the seat of honour, with an arm and leg in each of the four corners, and all his hair standing on end. It was no other than the Wind himself. The man stared at this awful Ancient with terror, for never in his life had he seen anything like it. “God help thee, old father!” cried he.––“Good health to thee, good man!” said the ancient giant, as he lay on the floor of the hut. Then he asked him in the most friendly manner, “Whence hath God brought thee hither, good man?