Harriette Taylor Treadwell

The Lad and the North Wind

Part 1 of 2

Once there was a poor woman.

She had one son.

One day he went to the safe for meal.

Along came the North Wind,

puffing and blowing.

He caught up the meal,

and away he went.


The lad went to the safe for more meal.

The North Wind came again.

He carried the meal off with a puff.

And he carried the meal off a third time.


Then the lad became angry.

"I will go to the North Wind," he said.

"I will ask him for my meal."

So off he went.


[109]

He walked and walked.

At last he came to the North Wind's house.

"Good-day, North Wind," said the lad.


"Good-day," said the North Wind.

"Thank you for coming to see me.

What do you want?"


"You took our meal yesterday.

Will you give it to me?" said the lad.

"We shall starve without our meal."


"I have no meal," said the North Wind.

"But I will give you this cloth.

You have only to say,

'Cloth, cloth, spread yourself,

and serve a good dinner.'

And you have all you want."


"Thank you, North Wind," said he.

And he set off for home.


[Illustration]

[110]

It was a long way.

So he stopped at an inn.

He sat down at a table.

He took up the cloth, and said,

"Cloth, cloth, spread yourself,

and serve up a good dinner."

And the cloth did as it was bid.


The landlord saw the dinner.

"That is a fine cloth," he said.


Soon the lad went to bed.

The landlord took the cloth,

and he put another in its place.


[111]

Next morning the lad took the cloth

and went home.


"Mother," he said,

"I have been to the North Wind.

He is a good fellow.

He gave me this cloth.

I have only to say,

'Cloth, cloth, spread yourself,

and serve up a good dinner.'

And I have all I want to eat."


"That may be true," said his mother.

"But let me see it.

Then I shall believe it."


The lad drew out the table.

He laid the cloth and said,

"Cloth, cloth, spread yourself,

and serve up a good dinner."

But not a crumb did it serve.