The Wind and the Sun
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The Wind and the Sun
An Akan Story by Farida Salifu
One day, the boastful wind declared to the sun, ‘You know that I am the strongest and most effective of all the weather!’
And the sun replied, ‘All weather can be strong and effective.’
But the stubborn wind disagreed. ‘All weather is strong,’ said the wind, ‘but I am the strongest of all. Let us have a competition to prove this. The weather that makes people remove the most of their clothing will show that they are indeed the strongest of all.’
The sun agreed to take part in the competition and suggested that the wind should go first. And so the wind blew and blew upon the earth, creating first a light breeze, and then massive gales that swept across the lands below. Peoples’ hats flew up into the air and many were forced to hold tightly to their jackets and coats so that they would not lose them in the mighty gale.
After many minutes of blowing and blowing, the wind had managed to cause a great deal of chaos. He had blown away many hats. He had swept away empty bottles, rubbish, newspapers and umbrellas. But he had not caused people to lose their clothes.
Next it was the turn of the sun. And the sun shone brightly in the clear blue sky, heating up the earth below until the people began to take off their clothes. First they removed their shoes, then socks, then jackets. Some even removed their trousers in an attempt to stay cool in the lovely afternoon heat.
When the wind saw how effective the sun had been, he grew very angry indeed and caused the weather to change from sunshine back to wind so that the people below had to quickly put their clothes back on and head indoors away from the unexpected gale. Wind could not believe that the sun had won the competition and proven himself to be the most effective of all weather.
The rain and clouds, and the rest of the weather, all cheered for the sun and hailed him as the new hero. But the sun immediately stopped the cheering and told everyone that he was not a hero at all, but that all weather was important in its own unique way. ‘There cannot be one of us without the other,’ explained the sun. ‘Each of us does an important job, and each of us depends on the other to create the seasons. We water the earth, we blow the clouds across the sky, give people light and shade, and make sure that trees and flowers and crops grow in the earth.’
The sun called the wind over to share in the glory; he explained that all weather was part of a team and that they should all be proud of the work that they do.
Wind understood then that everything and everybody is different. It is important not to feel that you are better than anybody else. Wind also understood how important it was to work as a team so that you might make the most of the strengths of those around you. And so it was that all weather worked in harmony, each doing the task best suited to them, each appreciating the work of the other.