The Egg that Stopped the North Wind
Mother Nature’s Woodland Stories
There once was a Little Bluebird who lived in a Forest. As you may have heard, this very curious bird questioned everything she saw in the Forest—above, below, and in between. One day, when Mother Nature was away, the Forest grew tired of her constant questions and sent her to see the only other creature who could possibly answer her questions: Grandmother Owl.
So, the Little Bluebird flew to the oldest tree in the Forest and perched on the lip of a very deep hole. Two large, yellow eyes blinked open in the darkness. “What do you want?” Said a grumpy voice. The little bird swallowed. “The Forest told me you liked questions.” Grandmother Owl harrumphed. “Oh, they did, did they?” She let out a long, raspy sigh. “Very well, then. I will answer your questions. But first, you must listen to a story.” The Little Bluebird nodded quickly, eager to get past the story and on to her questions. Grandmother Owl shifted in her hole with a grunt, took a deep breath, and began her story.
Once upon a time, the North Wind sat angrily atop a very High Hill in the Land of Breezes. You see, Mother Nature had just scolded him for blowing too hard. It so happened that this was the time of year when the Sun went to bed early, and the North Wind was at his most powerful. And so, in his rage, he sent such powerful storms into the Forest that they shook the stones, flooded the rivers, blew the leaves off trees, and sent the creatures into hiding.
The Little Bluebird gasped. “But…what about the birds? If the winds blew away their nests, there wouldn’t be any eggs, and before long, Mother Nature couldn’t send messages to the rest of the Forest!”
Grandmother Owl furrowed her brow. “Would you like me to finish this story, or not?”
The Little Bluebird lowered her head. “Sorry,” she said. Grandmother Owl grumbled, then continued her story.
Mother Nature heard the cries of the Forest’s creatures and trees, its rivers and rocks, and her heart grew heavy at their fear and their sorrow. And so, to stop the North Wind’s hurtful storms, she created something very special—a speckled blue egg. It was a stunning shade of blue—the color of the spring sky after a good rain.
“Why didn’t she send a bear or something stronger than an egg?” The Little Bluebird asked. Grandmother Owl scowled. “Because sometimes our greatest help comes from the smallest and least expected things. Now, there will be no more questions until I’m through.” She cleared her raspy throat, then continued.
Now that she had this speckled blue egg, Mother Nature needed someone to deliver it to the High Hill where the North Wind lived. But she couldn’t ask just anyone. The Land of Breezes could be a very dangerous place, and so she had to find the bravest bird in the Forest.
She looked high and low until she found a young, bright red Cardinal. And when Mother Nature asked the young bird to carry the speckled blue egg, the Cardinal broke into the most beautiful song—so beautiful, in fact, that it made Mother Nature weep for joy. Her Forest might be safe, after all.
Sitting in a nearby tree was a Pigeon. He was older, but his gray wings were strong and he was known across the Forest for making the sturdiest of nests. The moment he heard the Cardinal’s song, he felt something pull him toward her, and before he knew it, he had landed by her side and found himself nodding when Mother Nature asked him to join the Cardinal on her journey. Like a good nest-builder, the Pigeorn began gathering leaves as soon as Mother Nature left and wove a small blanket strong enough for the two of them to carry the precious egg to the Land of Breezes.
As the two birds spoke excitedly about their quest, neither of them noticed one of the smaller breezes who was wandering through the woods. When it overheard what Mother Nature intended to do with the speckled blue egg, the breeze rushed back to tell the North Wind, who soon began making plans of his own.
The wind blew lightly as the Cardinal and the Pigeon flew, but it wouldn’t stay calm for long. The two brave birds soared side by side, each clutching the corner of a green leafy blanket, with the speckled blue egg nestled snugly inside. And while the blanket was strong enough to hold the surprisingly heavy egg, the birds were not strong enough to keep flying without needing frequent rests as they journeyed toward the Land of Breezes.
The Cardinal and the Pigeon stopped to catch their breath in a tall tree just outside the Valley of Tears. As they were about to take off, a branch snapped suddenly below. The Cardinal let out a short gasp as, through the branches, she saw a golden jackal on the hunt. Only, instead of looking from side to side on the forest floor, the jackal kept looking up into the trees.
“What’s a jackal?” The Little Bluebird blurted. Grandmother Owl shot her a warning look. “It’s like a wolf, but has a smaller head, sharper teeth, and a nastier temper. And they’re friends with the North Wind.” Then, looking the little bird in her beady little eyes, she said, “One more question out of you and I solemnly swear never to tell you how this story ends. Understand?” The Little Bluebird covered her beak with her wingtips and nodded quickly. Grandmother Owl continued.
The birds sat silently for several tense moments before the jackal slinked past them. The Cardinal and the Pigeon let out silent sighs of relief and quickly returned to the air. The egg kept growing heavier, and so they needed to rest more frequently now. But the closer the birds flew to the Land of Breezes, the trees grew farther apart, for the strong winds blew over anything with shallow roots. Fear began to grasp at the birds as their flying became more difficult and as their safe resting places became scarcer. And, to make matters worse, more and more jackals began to appear, searching the trees for any signs of the two travelers.