The Sun and the Wind and Mr. Todd
. Harcourt Brace and Company . NY ,
PZ8.2.E749 Su 1943 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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The Prologue to this book is SW, told in the poorer version. The issue is described this way: whichever soonest made a traveler take off his cloak should be accounted the more powerful. A paragraph just after the prologue asks But what about the little man who was the innocent victim of that Olympic battle? This is the story of that little man and it is dedicated to him, and to all little men, buffeted hither and yon by forces beyond their control. It not by chance, I think, that this book appears in wartime. Three chapters tell of Mr. Todd's troubled occupation, of his encounter with the sun and wind, and of his report on his experience to a learned convention of weathermen. Mr. Todd is a weatherman, like his father and grandfather. Unlike them, he is not very good at predicting the weather in his newspaper column for the little town of Rockypoint. As Mr. Todd walks to a convention of weathermen, he becomes the target of the sun and wind argument in Chapter 2. I find it surprising that a book can play out the story in such detail and not rethink the fable. Why would a person ever take off a coat because it gets windy? Credibility gets further strained, I believe, when readers find, in short succession, that the wind goes around the world seven times in a rage and that nothing around Mr. Todd is disturbed by the fierce wind that assails him. In Chapter 3, he is greeted at the convention as a great weatherman. He tells of his experience, first blustering and creating animosity and then persuading and creating a warm reception. The theory he proposes is that weather is not the same for everybody. Even his worst predictions are thus true for somebody. He becomes the hero of weathermen at the convention and beyond. Generally every second page contains a large brown monochrome sketch illustration of the story. For me, the storytelling here is disappointing.