A simple puppet can be made out of so many things to represent the boy. This story can be acted out as a silk show. In the beginning of the story, a pink or rose colored silk can be used to represent the balloon. Wrap it around the child for the balloon effect and move along. For each wind child, use a different silk and wave them together in the beginning when the boy reaches the house of Mother Wind. One by one, along with the story, use each silk as you tell the tale of each little wind child. At the end, carry the boy back to the beginning place for when he wakes up.
Mother Wind's House
The boy was standing on the hillside again, looking out at the water across the wild roses and bayberry bushes, when the little rosy balloon appeared, and floated straight to him.
A door in the balloon appeared, and, the little balloon grew large, large, till it was like a great house; and all its sides were windows, curtained with pinky clouds, and with rose-colored cushioned seats beneath. The boy curled up on the seat, rested his head on his hand, and looked at the wonderful things as they passed.
Out and away floated the magic balloon, past the clouds, over the mountains, away and away, to the other side of the world. Beyond the other side of the world it came at last to the Wind's House. And there it settled soft as a feather, and the boy stepped out, where Mother Wind sat at her porch, with her wind-children around her.
The wind-children were all moving, hither and thither, with wavy movements, so that the boy could not tell whether he was looking at the same one for an instant at a time. They wore dresses of pearly colors, like clouds at dawn, and the dresses moved so lightly that the boy could not see at all what they were like,-only the soft, pearly colors.
Mother Wind was playing with the littlest wind-child, who tossed a great silver ball into her lap, and caught it again when Mother Wind threw it. The ball floated like a bubble from their hands, but it always settled in Mother Wind's lap, and always fell in the littlest wind's hands.
The littlest wind-child danced up to the boy, and stood wavily before him. Her hair was dark like the first edge of night, and full of ripples. "I am little Southwest Breeze, Peter," she said, "I've often played with you in summer time; don't you remember how I slip my fingers through your hair? Sometimes I run over the smooth sea-floor, and it dimples all up to laugh at me. I make you sleepy, funny boy!" And with a laugh the littlest wind puffed her breath at the boy, but very softly. Oh, how warm and soft, and sweet-smelling and drowsy that breath was! The boy half shut his eyes, and the little Breeze danced and laughed to see him.
Just then a tall wind-child came up to them. His hair was all about his face, so that the boy could only see his black eyes now and then. His body gleamed like copper through the wavy garment he wore, not at all like the littlest wind's rosy limbs. "I am South Wind," he said, in a sharp, sighing voice. "I come from the white desert where the sand and the sun blaze always; I pass the tropic islands where the coral reefs lie naked in the sun; I fly over great fields of flowers but bring no cooling to them. I am the breath of the heat."
"He has much work to do," said Mother Wind; "he must melt the ice and snow when Earth is weary of their wrapping. He has to work with the sun-children long hours to set the water streams free. But he is a little mischievous."
"Am I?" said the South Wind, "Ha, ha! Let me touch you with my nice warm hand, little boy!" He touched the boy's cheek with his finger. Ugh! It was hot almost to scorch. Peter felt smothered, just to see South Wind so near.
"Be quiet, son," said Mother Wind, "Cool his cheek, East Wind." As she spoke, a gray-robed wind-girl advanced softly toward the boy, and South Wind vanished. The East Wind's eyes were gray. They had blue lights in them when she smiled, and though her hair waved like a mist about her face, the boy could see how brave and young it was.
East Wind pushed her hair from her face and said, "I will cool the burning." And she waved her hand lightly over the boy's head. And all at once a soft, cool fog lay on his hair and cheeks, and he smelled the salt of the sea, and the strong tang of seaweed. She waved her hand again, and the boy felt like shouting for joy, so cool and bracing was the air around him.
"Oh, dear East Wind, I would love to play with you," he cried. "I am more than a playmate," answered East Wind, "I have a great deal to do when my brother has been too much about; I have to search out the hidden places in cities and breathe life again into little children and sick people who have fainted at his lingering. And the cleaning I have to do! Dear, dear, you men-people are so helpless! Besides, I am the wings of the Storm and have to serve her. She cannot travel without us, and we all carry her when she bids us. But I do like to play, young boy! All the beautiful white sail-boats are my toys!"
"And mine!" Another wind-child came pushing East Wind away. He was taller than she, with brown hair and red lips, and his robe was richer in its pearly colors than the others. "I am a good playmate, too, boy," he said, "don't you remember your friend Northwest Wind? I come from the great prairies and the far mountains, across mighty lakes and rivers, and over wonderful forests of fragrant pines. I bring you the bluest skies, the brightest sun, the white caps on the ocean. I am cool and fresh but have no chill, and though I am strong, I do not give my wings to the storm. Play with me, child! Play and dance!"
And the merry Northwest Wind reached out his hands to the sweet boy, and the boy felt himself lifted and swayed back and forth in a wonderful dance. It was so beautiful and free! And how cool and dry the air was! The boy smelled apples and hay, and some kind of sharp, pickly smell like mother's kitchen on a September day. He wanted to dance forever.
"Dearest Northwest Wind," he said, "I love you, too! Stay with me!" But as he spoke his playmate leaped away, and all the little wind-children drew close to their mother. A strange wind-girl was striding forward, her tall figure wrapped in a robe that seemed shot through with gleams of violet light. Her hair was yellower than flax, her eyes as blue as steel, her skin as white as snow.
"I too can play," she said, and as she spoke the boy thought he heard sleigh bells. "I come from the land of eternal ice, I travel across unmelting snow. I know the polar bear well, and the Eskimo children are mine. I make great sport of the lakes and rivers when my time comes; they wrestle with me, but I bind them in my ice chains till some of my brothers come to aid them. Few love me for the work I do, for I am cold, cold; yet I work. These others would have the Earth worn to her death with their pranks and their dances if I did not protect her. I lock her away from them and give her rest. I make the snow roads firm for the lumbermen to drag the great trees from the forest. I am the North Wind."
The young boy was afraid of the North Wind. While she spoke the lights flickered and gleamed in her garments, and the air was sharp and still like a winter day. But he did not want to be rude, so he said, timidly, "I am sure you do a great deal of good."
"Are you?" said the North Wind, "then come with me!" And she stretched out her hand to the child. He shivered all over, and shrank back. An icy arrow seemed to shoot from her hand to his very heart. "Oh, little Southwest Breeze, come quickly!" he cried. "Warm me!"
Little Southwest Breeze moved from her mother's knee, but the North Wind turned her steely eyes on her, and the little sister hid behind her mother's skirt. Peter felt the cold stealing through his veins, freezing, freezing.
"North Wind, my daughter!" said the Mother of Winds, sternly, "leave the boy alone! West Wind, bring your summer cloak to warm him." At her words the cold North Wind strode away, and a laughing boy came running to him, with a little cloak of fleecy white and fawn and rose. He threw it around the boy's shoulders with a merry toss, and instantly he was all cozy warm! Not hot, not sleepy-drowsy, but just summery warm. The wind-boy nodded his bright brown head at him, and looked kindly from his gray-blue eyes. He was younger than Northwest Wind, but he resembled him. Only his motions were gentler, and his hair brighter.
"Better now?" he said, touching Peter's face with his brown hand. "What a nice touch that was! It felt like a mother's kiss. I'll dance with you, darling wind!" said Peter, happily. "Well you may," said the wind-boy, "for I am your companion all the long summer days. I am West Wind. Many a time we've raced together over fields of buttercups! I drive your little sailboat across the pond when you play. I stir up all the sweet smells of clover and sweet brier for your mother to smell at in the morning. I fly your kite, and - come on, have a game!"
His hand took the boy's, lightly, and the boy found that his feet could fly! Away they danced, whirling and swaying and darting, like swallows in flight, and all the while the little cloak of summer fluttered from the child's shoulders, with its cozy warmth. Faster and gayer they danced, merrier and merrier, till all at once the boy laughed aloud.
But then... Wait! Where was he? Who was that laughing with him? Mother, to be sure, bending over him in bed! And it was full morning, and he was rolled like a puppy in his soft coverlid. Well, well, well! The boy realized that it was just a dream. Oh but wasn't it a nice one?