Winter’s Nigh By Samuel Colbran

The North Wind was travelling through the skies, skimming on snowflakes and dusting the mountains. North Wind was jubilant, it saw the world and kissed it with the soul of winter. During its travels, it spied a lonely wanderer moving through the snow. North Wind thought wouldn’t it be fun to talk to the man, become its friend. But how to do it?

Skirting over the valley, it blew past the wanderer. The Traveller hears something “Who is that; I am so cold? It must be my imagination.” he pondered to himself

North Wind marvelled at its new friend; I shall pass him again and speak to him. As it moves back down the rolling hill, the traveller hears a whisper “Why are you so cold?”

As the Wind rushes past bringing more snow, the Traveller grabs his cloak and wraps it around himself “Who is that asking me, why am I cold? It is winter, I am just a lone wanderer who wants to go home and be warm!” He whimpers.

North Wind is confused by this, winter is life to it. It touches all of the world with its icy fingers. It asks again in a raspy voice, rushing past the Traveller “How can I help you be warm?”

The Traveller staggers, dropping to one knee. The chill the Wind blew penetrated his very bones. The Traveller yells at the skies “How can I be warm, with such an icy wind? Leave me be, I need to get home!”

The North Wind is hurt by this strange man. Cold and snow, wind and sleet. These things are what it loves, how can this man not understand?The Wind decides again, if it embraces the man again with its wind, he would be happy. The North Wind cares because he does not know the joy of winter. The cleanliness of the landscape, the stark white of the snow this gives the world its own type of beauty. Each snowflake North Wind births is perfect. If Wind shows him that the delights in a winter storm, the Traveller will appreciate the North Wind.

High up on the mountain, North Wind gathers its snowy children. Clouds plump with sleet and cold. It was sure this would convince that Traveller that winter is the most incredible season. See how it embraces you, penetrates you. You can become part of winter, and be its friend forever.

As the blizzard gathers, the Traveller desperately tries to to find shelter from this horrendous cold. His lips are cracking, his face is flushed. He has started to lose all feeling in his toes and fingers. It was stupid of him to try and travel this day. He screams to North Wind “Leave me be, I only want to..” With that, the cold takes his breath. The Traveller coughs and splutters bringing a wineskin to his lips hoping the brandy inside will warm him again.

The North Wind sees the man clutching at his cloak, stumbling in the snow. It does not understand why the man hates it so. It created this storm, can’t the Traveller see that it is helping him? Maybe It hasn’t sent enough wind and snow, that must be his problem. It asks again “Does this not..” North Wind rushes pass then turns on the Valley slope to finish its question “…please you, Traveller?”

The voice of the Wind chills the very soul of the Wayward Traveller “Who is this on the Wind, asking me whilst I die from this frigid air? I only wish to make it home to my wife and sick child. I have medicine for my son, as he is of need.”He coughs in his cloak takes another swig of brandy “Leave me be! I only want to go home.”

North Wind is bewildered by this Traveller, how can you be angry? See how hard I worked to bring you a perfect storm. North Wind felt hurt by the Traveller, it only wants him to see the wonder and majesty of its passion. Hurt and sad, North Wind cries out “How can I make this man happy?”

Suddenly a strange figure appears and whispers “I might not bring him joy, but I can bring him contentment. All you need to do North Wind is bring more wind and snow.”

The voice is laced with compassion, North Wind knows this Stranger well. If happiness cannot happen, then peace is a better place for the Traveller. North Wind gathers every scrap of cold and ice. With one great rush of exuberance it covers the Traveller in its embrace. “Why have I been forsaken? I just want to go home to my sick child.” the Traveller pleads.

Now a new voice surrounds the man “Do not worry, Traveller. Your child is safe with me.” With that, the Traveller sees a cloaked figure emerging from the snow and wind “If you let go, I can take you to him…Just let go.”

The Traveller staggers and drops, losing all feeling in his arms and legs. His shivers steadily, his teeth chip and crack from his chattering. He reached to the stranger and asks, “Can you bring me home to my child?” Tears drop from his eyes only to freeze on his face. “My son needs this medicine, I need to travel back as quickly as possible. You can help me?”

The North Wind sees this. The Traveller is now pleading to the Stranger. Not understanding how sending more ice and snow will help the Traveller, the Stranger whispers “Just a little more, he nearly wants to come with me. I will make him happy, I have his child that he worries about, and he is safe and happy. Bring more snow and wind, this will make him elated.”

Smiling to itself North Wind gathers one last final blast of winter. The Stranger understands the Traveller, this will make him joyful and he will thank the North Wind bringing him home to his child.

As the last rush of wind comes upon the Traveller, he freezes in his tracks. The Stranger opens his cloak, the Traveller sees his child  playing in the fields and beckons to him. His son is happy but needs his father. With one more step, the Traveller embraces the Stranger.

The North Wind is confused, the Stranger has left, but the Traveller is still here. As It rushes pass, it sees a smile on his face. Content in making the Traveller happy, North Wind continues on its journey to find it’s next friend…

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