I am the strongest, said the wind, bloating to the cloud, I can carry you anywhere I want, It doesn’t matter how much you want to rain in the dry places, I take you to places where I please and there you come down.
The cloud was silent because he knew it's the truth. But he hated the wind so much for his arrogance. So he thought of this. “I know you are strong but you are not strong enough to take on whom I nurture.” he said.
“Oh come now, there is none like that. I can create cyclones and storms, I can carry things to another side of the world, I can do whatever I wish.” the wind said. After a long pause, he added, “thank to God” which he felt will prove his humility which was not really the case.
The wind became suddenly hopeful when he realised that it will be difficult for the wind to challenge whom he is thinking of. He said, listen wind, I know what you can do but still you can't make this one, the one I am talking of, obey to you or listen to you.”
Wind was really irritated by now. “Lets go and see cloud, your admirer will be as weak as you and I will win over him in no time.”
They both agreed, and flew together, the wind carrying the cloud, to the forest where the wind takes the cloud every monsoon and the cloud stays there and for three months, watering the trees. The old trees find life, the new trees grow faster when the cloud is there and all these trees loved him.
There is one tree, however, which is the challenger the wind has thought of. This tree is a strong one and almost at the middle of the forest. He is the tallest of them all and looking at his trunk and the branches, he is the strongest of them all. He shelters numerous birds and insects on him. He guards those from the rain with his leaves. He tries to stay still when these tiny nests have eggs or new born so those don’t topple over. And when these newborns jump and try to fly for the first time, he smiles and watches. Then when they can fly, the parent birds teach the young ones to thank him and they all fly away together, after thanking him from the deepest corner of their heart. Everybody loved him. Even weaker trees look at him and relies on his strength to handle the strong storm.
This is the tree which the cloud had in his mind as the challenger to the wind. They flew and both reached him. From up above the sky, the cloud pointed the majestic tree to the wind. It is easy to recognise him from that far above as there is no other tree like him in the whole forest.
“That is the friend who I am talking about. He is the king of the trees. Listen wind, if you can make him obey you, the whole forest will listen to you” the cloud said.
The wind started to work immediately. He went down to the tree and said, “hello sir, I am wind and I am having an argument with the cloud, your friend. He says if you obey me as superior, he will accept me as superior. As you know I am the strongest force in the world, please accept my powers and I shall reward you”
The tree was surprised. He said, “cloud is my friend and he helps me maintain this forest and all its inhabitants. When my leaves are dirty, he washes it, when my roots are dry he waters it so I can live and bear fruit. He waters my whole kingdom. How can I leave him and join your side?”
The other trees were listening to this conversation. The wind felt insulted. He said” if you don’t listen to me, I will ruin you. First I will break your branches and then uproot you. Then, while dying, you will see me running havoc and destroying everything you love. Do you want that?”
The tree said, “the cloud has done many things for us. What have you done? Go back to where you came from.”
The wind was really angry. He went up in the sky, took a deep breath and started to blow at the tree.
The tree was a strong tree. He started shielding nests with his leaves. At least 2 nests have eggs in them and 1 has 3 new babies. They must not fall. His powerful branches covered the initial attack.
|The wind blew hard|
The wind didn’t give up. This one is stronger than I thought. He started blowing harder. The branches started shivering. The tree put its root firmly in the earth and started protecting. But even with all his strength, he was shivering slightly, from this very strong wind. He started losing the leaves which were covering the nests.
You are so stubborn, shouted the wind from the up above, give up else I will blow stronger. The tree didn’t reply, his whole body ready for next attack.
The next attack was vicious, the wind didn’t blow directly this time but came down in a circular way right on top of that tree. The roots were holding to the ground as fast as they could and the solid thick branches were really trembling from this incredible attack from the wind.
Finally, the wind could twist one arm and break it. The thick branch fell on the ground with a thud. Noooo, the tree screamed, less from his pain than from realising that one nest with eggs and another with new borns were on that branch. They all crashed on the ground. The forest watched in horror, nobody saying a word, in fear of the great wind coming against them.
The wind, from far above, said, “say I am the strongest and the greatest and save whatever dear is remaining. “
“You might be the most powerful but you are never the strongest and you will never understand the difference between them.” the great tree, wreathing in pain, replied.
“Fine then”, the wind went for a stronger circular wave and hit the tree. This time, three major branches, all weak from previous attacks, fell down. The tree screamed in pain every time one branch fell off. He cried, loud enough for the whole forest to hear clearly, for his physical loss and loss of every nest, insect, bird, eggs, newborns and orchids which was living depending on him.
|The large tree swayed as the cloud watched helplessly.|
Now he stood, naked, only the main trunk remaining along with some smaller branches.
The wind might be the most powerful force in the world but he is surely not infinitely strong. Nobody, except God is infinitely strong. When the wind summoned his final strengths and prepared for the final assault because even now the tree denied considering him the strongest, the tree prayed to the God.
“God, dear God, don’t make me fail. If I fail, all the trees will fail. I am their king, their courage and their hope. Their sovereign and their strength. Let me stand and face this final assault.”
The wind launched his last assault. The weaker surviving branches gave away easily as this was the fiercest of all the attacks. The roots almost gave up as the wind put each drop of his power behind this attack. The tall naked, bruised body of the tree swayed helplessly, bending and the tip almost touching the ground. Then it broke from midway. The wind also stopped because he was totally spent.
“I have done it, I have ruined him” the wind panted to the wind.
“but you said, you can make him agree that you are the strongest. He didn’t confess that. He broke staying true to his principles.” the cloud replied. The wind was silent.
|New sprout came where the great tree broke|
The God, to whom the tree prayed, was not idle either. He saw everything and saw how the tree stayed true for what is true and just. He sent his angels to the tree who healed the wounds and the cloud rained him his sweetest water and next day, there was a sprout, just where the body of the tree was broken.