Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 18, 2011
The Whining Weather Vane

(an original story)

Once upon a time atop an old barn, a weather vane creaked round and round. She had swung this way for years. Winter gales sent her swishing, and spring winds had her swirling, and summer breezes caused her to twirl. In the cool, fickle winds of autumn, she danced like a scarecrow in her farmer’s field.

But one day the weather vane grew weary of her daily grind. “Day and night I swirl and swish,” she cried. “I never rest.” She glared at the wind. “I’m tired of you. I’m tired of dancing to your ever-changing whims.”

The sheep and chickens and hens briefly looked up, but soon they returned to their peaceful grazing. They didn’t care for her woes.

She creaked more loudly. “Blasted winds provoke me night and day! If only they would give me something new.”

This time not one sheep looked up, and the hens clucked, “Be quiet!”

“Bleak, bleary January!” cried the weather vane. “Blasted wind! And if you think daytime is bad — oh, the nighttime wind! Where is that groundhog when I need him? Groundhog — tell me something good is coming soon.”

Groundhog poked his head out of his hole, blinked once and turned back to return to his comfortable sleep.

“No one listens to me!” the poor weather vane sobbed.

After a while a man passed by and gazed up at the weather vane to check which way the winds were blowing. When the weather vane saw him, she cried, “You there! Do you know how miserable it is to sit up here perched atop a pointy pole? Please, set me free!”

But the man simply passed by.

A flock of birds passed overhead, and the weather vane creaked louder. “You up there!” she cried. “You think you’re all so fine and free, but I could fly like you if only one of you would take one moment to set me loose.”

The birds swooped down and landed atop the barn where they pecked at the seeds scattered by the wind and ignored the weather vane’s wails.

“Oh,” creaked the weather vane, “you think you are such pretty things in your dusty grey jackets! You’re dull creatures. If I were a bird, I’d be handsome and would flutter and float like no bird you’ve ever seen!”

The birds flew away, and the weather vane jerked and pulled and stretched, trying to follow those birds. She twirled and spun, but no matter how she tried, she stuck to that post.

Finally she said, “All right, I’ll stand still!”

She stopped turning. “You all can look at me all you want, but I shall tell you nothing. I’ll give away no secrets. I’m through reading your wind!”

The brisk, bright winter winds pushed and heaved with all their might. But no matter how hard they blew, the weather vane refused to budge. The winds heaved and huffed and still she was silent and still.

Days passed, and one morning the farmer noticed his weather vane was not moving. “A fine day,” he said, and he decided since the day was still, he would take his team of horses out to the farthest field.

But as soon as he left the shelter of the barnyard, he discovered that the winds were blowing hard and fast. His horses neighed and whinnied and bucked and ran back to the barn.

The weather vane cackled. “Foolish farmer,” she said.

The very next morning the farmer brought the ladder with him to the barn. He set it against a wall and began to climb up to the roof. He crawled across the roof toward the weather vane, and when he reached her he began to pour oil from a can across the creaky weather vane’s feet. She shivered at the feel of that oil, and she held her breath as that sticky, smelly stuff ran down her body and along her legs and arms.

“Stop!’ she cried. But the farmer ignored her.

She shook with fury, and she shimmied and twisted with rage. “Stop at once!” she shrieked, but now another wind came along and with one tiny puff, that wind sent her swirling.

“I’m dizzy!” she cried as every slight breeze turned her this way and that.

On came cold, harsh winds that lashed at the weather vane’s body. They carried with them hail and snow, sleet and freezing rain, and suddenly a great blast blew so hard, it pushed the weather vane from her perch.

Away she flew. “I’m free!” she cried, but suddenly she stopped flying. She began to tumble down, flipping and flopping, clattering to the earth. She landed headfirst in a pile of snow and straw and mud. She sputtered and choked and called, “Please save me!” But nobody heard her, and no one came.

Days passed. The weather vane lay battered and bruised until, at last, the farmer happened to pass by and saw her there. “What’s this?” he said, turning her over. “Why, poor old weather vane,” he said. “You’ve fallen from your post. Let’s get you to the blacksmith. He’ll straighten you out. You were such a pretty thing.”

He picked her up and carried her to the blacksmith’s shop, and in no time at all, the blacksmith had fixed her up.

The farmer carried her back home up to her perch and placed her there. She danced, and the farmer smiled and said, “How beautiful.”

Never again did the weather vane complain, for she learned to be proud that she could show the world which way the wind blows.

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