When the world was new, long ago, an old man was wandering around. This old man had long, white
hair and wherever he stepped, the ground grew hard as stone. When he breathed, the rivers stopped flowing and the
ponds became solid. The birds and animals fled before him and plants dried up and died as the leaves shriveled
and fell from the trees.
Finally, this old man found a place where he could set
up his lodge. He made walls of ice and covered it over with snow. He sat inside his lodge, in front of a fire,
which gave off no heat, though a strange flickering light came from it. His only friend was the North Wind, who
sat beside the fire with him and laughed as they spoke of things they did to make the world a cold, hard place.
They sat and smoked their pipes through the long, white nights.
though, as the two dozed by the fire, they felt that something was wrong. The air was harder to breathe and when
they looked outside, they saw strange things happening. The snowdrifts were growing smaller. Cracks were forming
in the ice on the ponds.
"Henh!" said the North Wind. "I can
stay no longer." He went out of the lodge and flew through the air towards the north, not stopping until he
again reached a place where snow and ice were deep and there was no hint of warmth. But, the old man did not stir.
He knew that his magic was strong, he built his lodge to last.
came a knocking at his door. Someone was striking against the ice so hard that pieces were falling away, from the
the old man shouted. "No one can enter my lodge."
Even as he said it, the door of the lodge broke and
fell to the ground. A young man, with a smile on his face, stood there. Without a word, he stepped into the lodge
and sat on the other side of the fire, from the old man. He held a green stick in his hand wand with it, he stirred
the fire. As he stirred the fire, it began to grow warm. The old man felt sweat begin to run down his face.
are you" said the old man. "Why have you broken my door? No one can come in here but my friend, North
Wind. If you do not leave, I will freeze you with my breath." Then, the old man tried to blow his chilly breath
at the young stranger, but only a thin mist came from his lips.
The young man laughed. "Old man," he
said, "let me stay here and warm myself by your fire."
The old man grew angry. "I am the one who makes the
birds and the animals flee. Wherever I step, the ground turns to flint. I make the snow and ice. I am mightier
than you" As he spoke, though, the old man felt more sweat run off his brow, and the young man continued to
the stranger said, "I am young and strong. You cannot frighten me. Surely you know who I am. Do you not feel
how warm my breath is? Wherever I breathe, the plants grow and the flowers bloom. Where I step, the grasses sprout
and snow melts away. The birds and the animals come to me. See how long my hair is? Your hair is falling out now,
Old Man. Wherever I travel I bring the sunshine and you cannot stay. Do you not know me, Old Man? Do you not hear
my companion, the Fawn? She is the South Wind. She is blowing on your lodge. It is your time to leave."
The old man opened his mouth to speak, but no words
came out. He grew smaller and smaller and the sweat poured from his brow, as he melted away. Then he was gone The
walls of his lodge of ice and snow fell in. Where his cold fire had burned, white flowers now bloomed. Once again,
the Young Man, SPRING, had defeated the Old Man, WINTER.