Today, it is exceptionally windy. Dreadfully so. When I was lifting the children from school we got hit with a bad gust of wind, with a slip of the tongue I said “Oh! That wind nearly blew my coat off!”, I had meant to say glasses. When we got into the car my slip of the tongue reminded me of the fable I had heard as a child and started to relay it to the children. My friend, who was in the car with us, had never heard this tale and it made me wonder how many others have never heard it. It is a story I love and wanted to share it with those who might never have heard it before.
The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness.
“We shall have a contest,” said the Sun.
Far below, a man travelled a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat.
“As a test of strength,” said the Sun, “Let us see which of us can take the coat off of that man.”
“It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat,” bragged the Wind.
The Wind blew so hard, the birds clung to the trees. The world was filled with dust and leaves. But the harder the wind blew down the road, the tighter the shivering man clung to his coat.
Then, the Sun came out from behind a cloud. Sun warmed the air and the frosty ground. The man on the road unbuttoned his coat.
The sun grew slowly brighter and brighter.
Soon the man felt so hot, he took off his coat and sat down in a shady spot.
“How did you do that?” said the Wind.
“It was easy,” said the Sun, “I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way.”
Moral of the story: “Kindness effects more than severity.”