The sun strips the traveler of his cloak, illustrated by Milo Winter in a 1919 Aesop anthology.

The sun strips the traveler of his cloak, illustrated by Milo Winter in a 1919 Aesop anthology.

The summer solstice was earlier this week, which sent me on a search for a sun story for today. “The North Wind and the Sun” is one of Aesop’s fables. It’s not really a summer story, though.

The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.

The version I read gives the moral as “kindness effects more than severity,” but I don’t think the sun’s heat is necessarily kind. Maybe it’s more a case of persuasion can work better than force, but really both the wind and the sun are attempting to manipulate the travelers actions, they just have different ways of going about it.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.