Subskill: Reading Comprehension
Grade Level: Middle Elementary
The North Wind and the Sun
“I am stronger than you,” said the North Wind to the Sun.
“That is not true,” said the Sun. “Everyone knows that I am the stronger.”
“Show me that you are stronger than I,” replied the North Wind. “You know very well that you are not.”
“Do you see that traveler coming? I can make him take off his coat. You cannot,” said the Sun.
“We will see about that,” answered the North Wind. “The one that makes the traveler take off his coat is the victor.”
“All right,” said the Sun, “and you may have the first trial.”
“Whew! How the North Wind blows,” said the traveler. “Whew! Whew! Hold on there, North Wind; I would rather walk than fly. Whew! Whew!”
“How cold it is! I must button my coat uptight! Whew! Whew! Whew! I never felt such a wind before,” said the traveler, as he folded his arms over his chest. “It seems determined to tear off my coat. I will turn my back to it. Whew! Whew! Whew! Whew!”
At last the North Wind said, “I will try no longer, but you, Sun, can do no better.”
The Sun said nothing but came out from under a cloud and smiled down upon the traveler.
“How good that feels,” said the traveler. The Sun shone on. “It is getting warm,” said the traveler, unbuttoning his coat. It was now past noon. “The Sun is too much for me,” said the traveler, and he threw off his coat and hunted for a shady place.
The North Wind’s harshness had failed. The Sun’s gentleness had won.
Here are some questions to ask at the end of the story.
What is the theme or moral of the story?
What were the North Wind and the Sun fighting about?
Who was stronger – the North Wind or the Sun? How do you know?
How were the Sun and the North Wind personified in the story?