April 11, 2003

From The Chantry Guild (Gordon R. Dickson):

The sun, the rain and the wind happened to meet one day ... And the rain was upset -- so upset that he was almost turning into sleet.

"It's just terrible," he told the sun and the wind, "I've come from seeing something I wouldn't have believed if anyone had told me about it. A Great Dark Place. I've never seen a place so dark and terrible. I got away just as fast as I could. It scared me to death."

The wind laughed.

"Come on, now," the wind said, "no place can be that frightening. In fact, I don't believe it even exists. You're making it up. Isn't he, sun?"

"I certainly can't imagine any such place," said the sun.

"You go see it for yourself then," said the rain. "Anyway, I know it's there and I'm not going anywhere near it, ever again. The very thought of it chills me clear through -- look how my drops are freezing at the thought of it!"

"Poo!" said the wind. "Where's it supposed to be -- back the way you just came? I'll go see for myself, right now!" and off he went.

The sun went on his regular way, because it was important that a day always have the right number of minutes in it for the day it was; and he’d almost forgotten about the rain's fright and story, when the wind came up to him. And the wind was so shaken he was blowing in irregular gusts.

"Calm down, now," said the sun. "What's wrong?"

"What's wrong?" said the wind. "I'll tell you what's wrong! I went to look for that Great Dark Place the rain talked about --
and it was there! Just as rain said! The greatest, darkest place you ever -- well, there's just no describing how terribly great and dark it was. I'll never get over the fright it gave me -- never!"

"Come, come," said the sun, for he was a very large and comforting person, by nature, "it just isn't possible for any place to be that frightening. How about this? I'll go have a look for myself, right now. There may have to be a few extra minutes in this day, but we can't go having the rain and wind all upset like that. The weather will turn crazy, if it's sleeting in the middle of summer and you're blowing a gusty gale when you ought to be cooling everybody's brow with gentle breezes. I'll be right back."

Off he went. But he didn't come right back. In fact, he didn't come back for quite a while indeed; and when he did, he was exhausted. While the wind had been waiting the rain had come up to join him and they both watched the sun approaching.

"Well?" called the rain, as the sun got close enough to hear. "Now, you see? Isn't it the most terrible and darkest Dark Place you ever saw?"

"It certainly is not!" replied the sun as he reached them. He was hot and more than a little cross, for now the day would have at least an extra hour in it it never should have had -- unless moon could be talked into shortening the night by that much. "In fact I don't believe there ever was any such place. The two of you made it up to send me on a wild goose chase. I looked high and low. I looked into everything and under everything -- and there's no dark place at all, anywhere! If there was, I couldn't have missed finding it. I don't think it ever existed in the first place, and that's the last time I go looking for something like that!"

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