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Storytelling

The Boy and the North Wind

Published September 1, 1973
Countries: Norway, Poland, Russia
Age Levels: 4-5 and up

There once was a poor old widow who had one son.  One day mother said, "Son, go to the outside cellar and bring in the last of the flour so I can make bread."  The boy did as his mother asked and took a bowl to carry the flour from the cellar into the house. 

As he left the cellar, the North Wind played a mean trick.  The North Wind blew into the bowl.  Flour went all over the boy's face and across the countryside.  When boy told his mother, she hugged him and said, "I don't know what we will do now.  We have nothing left to eat."

The boy thought the North Wind would want to correct the bad deed.  He followed the trail of flour across the country.  The boy walked and walked until he found the house of the North Wind.

"Good day," said the boy to the North Wind.  "I know you were only playing a trick, but my mother and I are poor.  You blew away the last of our flour, and we are hungry.  You need to do right and give me back our flour."

The North Wind felt bad that he had caused the old woman and her son trouble.  "I am sorry," he said.  "I cannot replace your flour.  Instead, I will give you something better."  He gave the boy a special cloth.  "Take this.  Put it over a table, and say the words, 'Spread, cloth, spread.' You will never be without food again."

The boy thanked the North Wind and took the cloth under his arm.  He had walked a long way and stopped at an inn for the night.  "How will you pay?" asked the innkeeper.  "You say you have no money for food or for a bed!"

The boy placed the cloth over a table and said, "Spread, cloth spread!"  The table was suddenly covered with the delicious food and drinks.  There was enough for everyone at the inn to eat that night.  So the innkeeper gave the boy to have a room of his own.  During the night, he crept into the boy's room and traded a table cloth that looked exactly like the boy's magic cloth.

The boy went home to his mother.  He told her their good fortune and laid the cloth over the table.  "Spread, cloth, spread," said the boy.  But nothing happened.

"I fear you have been cheated," said the mother.  The boy had been raised to know that a bad deed should be corrected.  So, he went back to the North Wind again.

"The cloth you gave me does not work," said the boy.  I know you do not want my mother and me to starve.  You need to do right and give us back our flour."

"I still cannot replace your flour.  Instead, I will give you something much better."  He gave the boy a special goat.  This goat gives money.  All you need to say is 'Goat make money!' and you will have enough money for your needs."  The boy thanked the North Wind and again traveled towards home.

The boy stopped at the inn, and the innkeeper asked how he would pay.  The boy walked outside to where his goat was tied and said, "Goat make money."  The goat bleated and coins fell from its mouth.  The innkeeper watched this and again gave the boy a room of his own.  While the boy slept, the innkeeper traded another goat for the one belonging to the boy.

The boy went home to his mother.  He told her their good fortune and told the goat, "Goat make money!"  But nothing happened.

"I fear you have been cheated," said the mother.  The boy had been raised to know that a bad deed should be corrected.  So, he went back to the North Wind again.

"The goat you gave me does not give money," said the boy.  I know you do not want my mother and me to starve.  You need to do right and give us back our flour."

"I still cannot replace your flour.  Instead, I will give you something much better."  He gave the boy a stick.  This stick will solve your problem for good.  When you say the words, 'Beat, stick, beat!' the stick will do what needs to be done.  Say "Stop, stick, stop,' when you want it to quit.  The boy thanked the North Wind and again traveled towards home.

The boy again stopped at the inn.  This time the innkeeper did not ask how the boy would pay.  He fed the boy and gave him a room of his own.  Late that night, he came into the boy's room with a stick, to trade it for the one belonging to the boy.  But this time the boy woke up and yelled, "Beat, stick, beat!" 

The stick flew into the air and started hitting the innkeeper.  It hit him again and again until he said he was sorry and said he would give the table cloth and goat back.  Then the boy said, "Stop, stick, stop."  The stick stopped, and the innkeeper crawled off to do as he had promised.

The boy went home with the magic cloth, the magic goat and the magic stick.  He and his mother always had enough food to eat and enough money to spend and the boy always knew that as long as he owned the stick, he could make sure that any bad deeds done to them would be corrected. 

 

Dr. Mike Lockett is an educator, storyteller and children's author from Normal, IL. Dr. Lockett has given more than 4000 programs across the USA and as far away as eastern Asia. Contact Mike by writing to Mike@mikelockett.com in order to book him for a storytelling program or young authors program or to inquire about purchasing his books and CDs.