'The Wind Goes On Holiday'

If you read this story to children, please let me know if they enjoy it, what age they are and any part they find hard to understand. This could be helpful when illustrating it. In picturebooks, illustrations always tell a major part of the story.

Thank you.

Picturebook stories in particular get edited and changed many times before they are considered 'finished'. If you'd like to read four of the versions that have preceded this one, and read some reasons why changes have been necessary, you may like to start at the first draft and follow the links to the others:
First Draft

The Wind Goes On Holiday

Peter E Taylor - ©2006

Wind wailed as he squeezed between tree branches.

‘Rustle, rustle, rustle’ went leaves.

‘Rattle, rattle, rattle’ went windows.

‘BANG’ went doors.

‘Slow down! Please slow down!’ pleaded the Buttercups. ‘You’re bending us too far!’

But Wind wasn’t listening.

‘Slow down! Please slow down! It’s impossible to cling to the flowers!’ gasped the Bees.

But Wind still wasn’t listening.

‘Slow down! Please slow down! You're filling our eyes with dust,’ complained the Lizards.

‘Rock, splosh, rock, splosh, rock, splosh,’ went the Waves.

But Wind still wasn’t listening. Training was fun!

‘Now I ought to be strong enough to blow down tall fences,’ he roared.

‘Why don’t you blow away overseas to the Windy-lympic Games instead? No-one could be as strong as you!’ flattered the Flies. ‘And when the Games are over you could take a holiday!’

‘That’s a good idea!’ Wind gusted. ‘I’m sure I’m the strongest and the fastest!’

Everyone decided to help him pack his suitcase - just to make sure that he didn’t change his mind, and that he would have the longest holiday ever. They brought everything they thought he might need:

‘Here are some balloons to blow up,’ buzzed a Bee family.

‘And you mustn’t run out of clean wind-socks!’ hummed another.

‘You might need a change of weather-vanes,’ fussed the Flies.

‘When you want a big, BIG, lonnng blow you can use this trombone,’ suggested the Lizards,

…and they all jumped for joy and waved and cheered as he set off. Even the Clams and Oysters joined in by clapping their shells.

‘Just keep going that way,’ crashed the Waves, and soon Wind vanished over the ocean to who knows where.

‘Now Wind has gone, we can have a lovely quiet rest!’ said the Lizards.

It was peaceful in the morning. But it felt strange.

‘I don’t like being ‘flat’ and ‘calm’!’ slopped the Sea. ‘It’s not at all exciting.’

‘It’s pretty boring not being able to move,’ agreed a Buttercup.

‘Without Wind I can’t smell which flowers to visit,’ said a Bee.

Meanwhile, Wind was charging further and further towards the other side of the world. (Illustration suggestion: The story splits into what happens to Wind and what happens back ‘home’. It is envisaged that the page can be split horizontally with Wind’s story at the top and the other creatures beneath.)

‘Is this the way to the Windy-lympic Games?’ he asked the Seagulls.

‘Yes, just keep going!’ they screeched. And so he did.

‘Is this the way to the Windy-lympic Games?’ Wind asked the Whales.

‘Yes, just keep going!’ they gushed. And so he did.

‘Is this the way to the Windy-lympic Games?’ Wind asked the Geese.

‘Yes, just keep going!’ they honked. And so he did.

‘Oh! Ouch!’ lamented one of the Lizards, as they ran in every direction. ‘I can’t stand still for a second on these hot rocks. I wish the cool Wind was here!’

‘It’s too hot! Cool Wind would be lovely,’ groaned the Flies.

‘Wind. Come over here. We need you! Wind! Where are you?’ they all shouted together, to see if he would return.

‘Sorry about the heat,’ said Sun, ‘but that’s my job. I only do heating and lighting. Cooling things down is Wind’s job. I’ll go now and find him on my way round the earth.’

Sun travelled over houses.

He travelled over fields

...and over the ocean.

He went a long, long way.

He went so far the Buttercups, the Flies, Bees and Lizards could no longer see him

…and it got dark.

Very, very dark.

It was going to be a long wait to see if Sun would bring Wind back.

Everyone decided to keep shouting, hoping that the Wind was listening.

‘How much further to the Windy-lympic Games?’ puffed Wind, when he met Storm. (Illustration sugestion: Horizontally divided page with Wind and Sun at the top and the Lizards, insects and Buttercups underneath.)

'You’ve been tricked!' Storm rumbled. ‘There are no such things as the Windy-lympic Games.’

When Sun found him, Wind was crying.

‘I should have guessed!’ sighed Wind. ‘They were so pleased to see me go, and now I’m lost. I can’t win medals and they were so unkind I won’t even have a good holiday. The Flies told me to ‘Get tied in a wind-sock!’, and as I left, the Bees sang ‘Wind, wind, blow away, come again another day – but not for a long time!’, and the Lizards wrote ‘Good riddance!!!’ in very large letters in the sand. And then there were the Clams clapping and…'

‘They just didn’t like all that rushing

…and pushing

…and bumping

…and swaying

…and knocking things over,’ explained Sun, ‘and you never once thought to say ‘I’m sorry’.’

‘I thought I was made to rush and push and bump and sway,’ Wind murmured. ‘I was training to be better at doing all of those.’

When the Wind stopped crying he heard everyone shouting in the distance. It was difficult to believe they all wanted him back again.

He was so pleased that they didn’t all hate him, he crept back with the Sun.

‘Three cheers for Wind. Hip-hip, hooray! Hip-hip, hooray! Hip-hip, hooray!’

‘Sorry I was nasty!’ said a Lizard.

‘We’re sorry we said so many mean things!’ agreed the Bees.

‘Sorry!’ said the Flies

‘Sorry!’ said the Buttercups.

‘I’m sorry too,’ Wind replied. ‘I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I promise that from now on I’ll try to be more careful. But I am very strong, and blowing is all I can do, you know.’

‘It’s good to have you back again,’ said the Bees, ‘but in future, please whistle when you’re coming - then we'll have time to hide.'

‘I can do that,’ replied Wind. ‘Why don’t you buttercups scatter your seeds near the walls and trees? New plants won’t feel me much if they live there.’

‘That’s a good idea!’ the Buttercups nodded. ‘Welcome home!’

‘Let’s have a party!’ suggested the Lizards.

Before long, everyone was grinning and laughing. ‘We’ll help you unpack,’ they said.

Wind was now happy again too. ‘Being with friends is so much better than being on holiday!’ he declared.

...and yes, I know it should be formatted with indented paragraphs, but I haven't worked out how to do it with the software I'm using.