Harry Behn



The sun looked down at the wide wide land
That was his to shine upon, his to command,
He looked and he looked at the big blue hill
And all he wanted was to look his fill.
He just loved floating in the bright blue sky
Simply looking, but he heaved a sigh
As he watched the big blue ocean below
Weaving sparkles to and fro
Only more brightly than a weaver weaves,
And he watched the bushes building leaves,
And a little brook no wider than your hand
Running bravely through desert sand.

With everyone so busy, the sun up high
Gave a grunt and a chuckle, “Well, who am I
Not to do my share?” And that’s when he
Filled up a pail with a sparkling sea.
Heavy as it was, he trudged up the hill
Trying his best not to splash or spill.

Not far above went a fat old cloud
With his nose in the air and very very proud
Sailing along without looking, as if
He weren’t sailing smack at a steep sharp cliff!
It would have been simple to go around,
But he was too important! What the sun found
When he finally climbed up high enough to see
Was that fat old proud cloud snagged on a tree
On the steep sharp cliff, and was he stuck!
Wheezing and bulging and cursing his luck.

The sun sat down on the hill near by
And watched for a while with a smile in his eye.

“It seems you’re stuck,” he said, “pretty bad.”
But the way he said it made the cloud mad.
“I am,” puffed the cloud, “and it’s thanks to you
For leaving this big blue hill in the view!”
He tried to be proud but it wasn’t much use,
He was tired out trying to pry himself loose.

The sun yawned politely. He was tired, too.
He sneezed and said, “I’ll tell you what to do,
Tighten up your lightning bolts, give a nudge!”
The cloud gave a heave, and still didn’t budge.
The sun sort of chuckled to himself, and there
Sat the two of them glaring, glare for glare.

Along came the wind who was shaking out seeds
From pods of bushes and flowers and weeds.
He saw the sun so he rushed and he twirled
Puffing out seeds all over the world,
Puffing until he was tired to death
So he sat down to catch his breath.
You know how the wind is, couldn’t keep still,
He talked about business the way people will.
“Take dandelions, for instance, what do they care
They have their silly children everywhere,
But when do they ever do a single thing
About them, summer or winter or spring!
They keep on having them even in the fall,
And I am the one who has to sow them all.”

The sun and the cloud both looked away,
So the wind didn’t have much els to say
Except, “Very well, then!” He rubbed his cheek
And waited for somebody else to speak.
When nobody did, he went back to work
And shook a big oak tree, gave it such a jerk
He yanked it out of the hill with a crash,
And down came the tree with a smash and a flash
And a boom and a rumble so sudden and loud
It drew, very naturally, quite a crowd.

The crowd was all clouds, they came on the run,
They trampled the wind, they rumpled the sun.
And as clouds do when there’s anything exciting
They bumped each other and started fighting,
They used loud language, like thunder and hail,
And thumped each other with the sun’s full pail,
The pail he had lugged up with might and main,
And down came millions of gallons of rain.

The sun tried his best to be dignified
But the clouds got madder the more he tried,
They tumbled hail over thunderhead
Not listening to anything anybody said,
Till the crazy wind grabbed the proud cloud still
Snagged on the cliff of the big blue hill
And tossed him thud on a tangled heap
Of clouds by now piled eighteen deep,
Then he jumped in the middle!

                                          The last anyone
Could see in the mess was the poor old sun
Worried but smiling, or trying to smile,
Way, way down on the bottom of the pile.
And all he had wanted with a kindly sigh
Was simply to float in a bright blue sky.