A seasonal tale


Every few years, sometimes seven, sometimes nine, the dark wind would blow through the forest causing all work to stop.  The people cursed the wind, but there was nothing they could do.  Then one day Greeno showed young Gordo a barrel in the cellar; it was full of golden dust.  The two boys decided they would face the fury of the dark wind when next it came, and hurl handfuls of the golden dust into its path.

Bravely the two boys stood their ground as the wind shrieked towards them.  They threw handfuls of dust in front of it, and watched as the evil wind snarled, withered, and dissipated into the forest.  People hailed the boys as heroes, but when the dark wind blew again a few years later, it was more powerful.  The boys again stood firm, and though it took more dust, once again the wind was dispersed.

The third time it came it took all their courage to withstand it as it raged against them.  Gordo asked Greeno why the dust was less effective, and was told that with so much of it now scattered through the forest, it had lost much of its value.  The boys managed to disperse the dark wind, though, and work continued in the forest.  Praises were heaped upon them, and Gordo even had "slayer of the dark wind" burned onto his belt.

When the wind came the next time, nothing could withstand it.  It was as if each victory over it had only added to its strength next time.  Greeno and Gordo shrugged helplessly as it laughed at the meagre handful of dust thrown at it, contemptuously tossing it aside.  The dark wind raged unchecked through the forest, stripping down leaves and trees, and all work stopped.  Greeno and Gordo were cast out amid lamentation, and the dark wind ruled.

Meanwhile, deeper into the forest, a young Austrian boy had an idea…