Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Story of the Wind

The Story of the WindThe Story of the Wind

The wind has stories to tell and one it tells of a man named Valdemar Daa. In a windy sort of area Valdemar Daa lived with his family. There was wealth. There were trees. There were great black horses.

At one point it was decided that a great ship would be built. The trees were cut down to do so, but one daughter begged that a tree with a stork’s nest not be cut down. The tree was left standing.

The great ship was built, but no one bought it. Years passed. The mother of Valdemar’s daughters was gone and there were no men offering to be suitors. Valdemar had his own endeavors. He spent many years trying to make gold. In his room, there was a fire constantly burning. Money went in and money went in and nothing ever came out. At one point Valdemar thought he had made gold, but it was not true.

The house wasted away. The land and home were mortgaged so Valdemar could have more money to try to make gold. At one point the mortgage came due and there was no money to pay. Valdemar and his daughters had to leave.

They went to live in a little hut. One daughter became a sailor and disguised herself as a man, but the wind blew her overboard before anyone could find out. Another daughter married a peasant. The last daughter, the youngest, lived in the little cottage until the end of her days. No one would tear it down because there was a stork’s nest on it. Years before, this had been the same daughter who saved the stork’s nest from being torn down. This was the last daughter of Valdemar Daa.


We have another story concerning alchemy. This was a thing, for a long time. In fact, I think it’s still a thing, it’s just not as much of a thing as it used to be. People sought ways to find eternal life and turn lead into gold. If gold could be manufactured, no one had to work for it. No one had to dig for it. No one had to die in a mine. Wealth could be easy.

Easy money is not a thing. There is always something difficult about getting money and gold.


This man wasted his life away and the lives of his daughters away because he was looking for gold. As far as I know, it’s impossible to manufacture gold in the manner that Valdemar was using. Maybe there is some way to grow it in a lab somewhere, but it’s probably more costly than going out and mining it yourself. He wasted everything. He lost everything. For gold. For money.

Life is more important than gold. It’s more important than money. Because of Valdemar, his daughters didn’t have anywhere near the lives they could have had. They could have married nobles or wealthy merchants, but they ended up poor. They ended up dead. A great house fell to ruin all in search of more.

When you have enough, sometimes it’s just best to keep having it. Maintain what you have and make sure it can be passed down to your children. Don’t lose it. Don’t lose a legacy because you’re greedy for more.

Valdemar’s search for gold was an addiction. Obviously, Valdemar was very smart. An idiot couldn’t have done all the chemical research he was doing. He was a very smart man and had probably once been a good businessman, maybe. He lost it all for his addiction in the search of gold. That’s the thing about addiction–it grabs somebody and doesn’t let go. Unless the person can realize what’s going on and stop, it’s just best that you leave. Valdemar’s daughters would have been better off going their own ways and living their own lives, but they got dragged down with Valdemar. What kind of father is that?


Don’t be a Valdemar.

Weigh In

Do you think any of Valdemar’s daughters ever found an inkling of happiness?

Do you think Valdemar continued her search for gold in the hut?


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