Sophie's Change of Heart

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic

"Sophi's Change of Heart" is about a child's discovery: she realizes that something that she finds annoying is actually beneficial. Windolene, the mischievous personification of an all-too-annoying
wind, is about to give Sophi a lesson of a life-time!

Submitted: July 30, 2018

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Submitted: July 30, 2018



Sophi stomped her feet as her frustration grew.  The spring rain was drenching everything—including her.  She was using an umbrella, but it wasn't doing much good.  The wind seemed determined to rip it right out of her hands.

What Sophi didn't know was that Windolene was in a particularly mischievous mood this morning and had been impatiently waiting for someone to venture out into the spring rain.  As the children left their warm homes and started on their way to school, Windolene began to blow, slanting rain onto unprotected faces, whipping hair wildly about and playing tug-o-war with every umbrella in sight. 

Sophi, already annoyed by her mother's insistence that she walk to school in the rain, had only gotten halfway there and was already soaked.  "Go away!" she yelled into the wind as she struggled with her umbrella.  "Can't you see that you are being a complete nuisance?!"

Windolene turned her attention more fully on the girl.  "A nuisance?  Her?"  Windolene was only having a bit of fun.  She decided to play a trick on this girl who dared scold her.  She slowed down for just a moment, snuck up on the girl from behind and gave an extra big push on the umbrella.
Sophi felt her umbrella suddenly pull upwards, as though being yanked; she frantically tried to keep her hold on it, but it was too late.  The umbrella went sailing up into the air, landed twenty feet away and began rolling madly down the sidewalk.  In desperation, Sophi chased after her umbrella, but just as she would reach out to grab it, Windolene would snatch it away again with a gleeful gust and send it farther out of Sophi's grasp.  The chase ended in an instant when Windolene blew the umbrella into the street and it was crushed by an oncoming car.

"Now look what you've done you horrid wind!" Sophi cried.  "You've completely smashed my umbrella!"  Tears of anger sprang to her eyes.

Windolene, who hadn't meant to make the girl mad and regretted upsetting her so much, tried to make amends.  In a gesture of apology, Windolene began to blow a softer, warmer breeze.  Within a short while, the rain completely stopped and the sunshine began to push past the storm clouds.  Raindrops sparkled like diamonds everywhere, but Sophi was too perturbed to notice.  The sunshine did nothing to dispel the dark clouds of Sophi’s indignation.The more she thought about it, the more she became convinced that life would be much better if the wind didn't exist at all. 

As she trudged along, Sophi grumped aloud.  No wind would mean no pelting rain from all directions in spring, no tornadoes in summer, no northern cold in the fall and no impassable snowdrifts in winter; as she walked her list kept growing—no dirt blowing up to sting the eyes, no added wind-chill on already freezing winter days, no leaf piles scattered and NO WRECKED UMBRELLAS!  "Yes," Sophi concluded, "life would be much better if the wind would just go away!"

As Windolene listened to the girl's growing list she began to feel more and more dejected.  "Am I really that horrible to have around?" she wondered.  Windolene knew, that as often as she was nice to have around, she did sometimes get carried away.  And if she got angry…well, look out!  There was no denying that everything this girl was complaining about was true; maybe she was a bigger nuisance than she had ever admitted.Faced with the facts and feeling miserable, Windolene decided that the girl must be right—maybe life would be better for everyone else if she would just go away.  And so, she did.

As Sophi walked home from school later that day, she couldn't help but notice how very calm it was—not a whiff of breeze bothered her.  Her mood, which had been sour since the morning's incident with the umbrella, began to steadily improve.  By the time she had reached home she was singing to herself.  Windolene watched forlornly from a distance. 

Spring turned into summer and no one seemed to care that the wind had stopped blowing.  It appeared to Windolene that her absence wasn't even noticed—not one person seemed to miss her.  However, that wasn’t entirely true.Sophi's mother had noticed that something wasn't quite right.  She complained that whenever she hung the laundry on the clothesline, it always dried stiff and scratchy.  Normally, the clothes softened as they flapped in the drying breeze.  Sophi had noticed her stiff clothes, but if it meant that there was no wind she didn't mind.

June stretched into July and the temperature continued to climb.  Marc, Sophi's older brother, began to complain about the stifling heat.  Day after day, the kids were forced to escape to the air conditioned malls or to use their allowance for admission to the local swimming pool to find any relief from the oppressive heat.  Normally, an occasional cooling breeze could be counted on to bring a needed reprieve, but not this year.  Sophi wondered why her brother whined so much.  He and his friends could always find a place to cool down—who needed the wind?

By the end of July, Sophi's father had begun to complain.  The wind turbines used to produce energy had been still since spring.  Utility rates were increased and, because of the family's non-stop use of their fans and air conditioner, the bills for the hot summer months were much higher than usual.  However, Sophi didn't take much notice of her father's complaints—whenever he complained it was usually about money.

As the summer wore on, Sophi's family tried to escape the heat of the city by taking their usual vacation at the lake, but even there they were disappointed.  Sophi's kite remained unpacked and their sailboat stayed tied at the dock.  With no wind to disturb its surface, the lake was unusually calm—swimming, though still fun, just wasn't the same without the playful push and pull of the waves.  Sophi couldn't help but feel a little let down and began to wonder if her wish for no wind had been a mistake after all.

When the family returned home, Sophi discovered that things had gone from bad to worse.  The neighbourhood was turning brown—dead grass, wilted plants and cracked ground.  There hadn't been any rain all summer because there had been no wind to bring the rain clouds.  The neighbours complained about the water restrictions being imposed throughout the city.  With each passing day, people seemed to be growing increasingly irritable.  There was talk about possible food shortages if farmers’ crops didn’t receive some much needed rain and a growing fear of the danger of the tinder conditions as a number of forest fires spread their destruction.Sophi began to realize that having no wind was creating problems that she hadn't even dreamed of.

As she considered just how serious the situation was becoming, Sophi had to admit that the wind's disappearance was not turning out to be as enjoyable as she had first hoped.  But, could she really be to blame for the wind’s disappearance, the unrelenting heat and lack of rain?  She started to worry over the possibility that the wind might never return.  “What other problems might arise?” she wondered to herself.  Worse yet, what if people found out that it was all her fault?

So, after one particularly sleepless night, Sophi made a decision.  She didn't know if she had been the one responsible for the lack of wind, but she decided that something had to be done.  She trudged down the sidewalk towards the place where her umbrella had been crushed earlier that spring.  When she got to the spot, she stopped and glanced around to see if anyone was nearby.  She was feeling a little bit silly.  When she saw that the coast was clear, she turned her face towards the sky and yelled, "I was wrong!"  She paused for a moment as though waiting for a reply before continuing, "I thought the wind was only a nuisance, and it can be, but it can also be a good thing."

Windolene, recognizing the girl, decided to come closer so that she could hear her better.  As she listened, she was astonished at what Sophi was saying.  The girl, who had convinced Windolene only a season ago that life would be better if she would just go away, had obviously had a change of heart.

"The wind blows warming breezes to melt the snow in spring and cooling breezes to cut the heat of summer; it pulls the leaves off the trees in the fall for kids to play in and brings the clouds that make winter snow.  The wind blows and I can fly my kite or sail in my boat with my dad; the wind softens the clothes as they dry on the line and creates dirt devils for me to chase.  But more importantly, without the wind the rain clouds will never come.  We need you wind way more than I ever realized."

Windolene began to feel a glimmer of pride which she hadn't felt in months.  As Sophi continued on with her list, Windolene began to waft a gentle breeze around the girl.  Sophi immediately noticed and grew excited.  She began to skip around and Windolene swished at her hair playfully.  Soon, Windolene began to blow gently throughout the neighbourhood.  Upon hearing the almost forgotten, but still familiar sound of the wind, people came out-of-doors to relax in the cooling breeze.

Over that day and throughout the night, Windolene continued to blow and by morning rain clouds filled the sky.  Just as everyone was beginning to wake up for the day, the rain began to fall—softly at first, but within a short while it had begun to beat the dry earth relentlessly.  Waking up to the steady drumming sound of rain against her bedroom window, Sophi quickly got dressed, grabbed her brother Marc's umbrella and ran outside.  The wind had returned and immediately began tugging at the umbrella she held over her head.  Instead of becoming angry, however, Sophi just laughed and pulled right back.  It didn’t take long for Sophi to be soaked right through.

Sophi’s mother, who had just gotten out of bed herself, happened to glance out of the window.  She was bewildered to see her daughter running outside in the rain, more wet than dry.  Sophi heard her mother’s scolding voice calling for her to come inside and get dried off.  She answered her, “Okay, Mom,” but, before she did, Sophi had one last thing that she needed to do.  She let the umbrella drop to her side, looked up into the sky and, with rain falling on her face, yelled, "Thank you!"  Despite the things she didn't like about the wind, there were still many things about the wind to be grateful for.  The wind wasn't simply a nuisance, it was also necessary.  The summer with no wind had given her a greater appreciation and a surprising change of heart.

Windolene smiled an invisible smile as she thought about her new friend who had returned indoors.  If Sophi had still been outside, she would have heard Windolene giggle—the mischievous wind was once again back to her old self.  After months of stillness, it was time to go and blow up a storm.  What fun!

© Copyright 2018 jane heeringa-peck. All rights reserved.

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