Fables from India
Know Which Way
the Wind Blows

The fable's moral:
The World Goes as the Wind Blows

Another way of saying it:
Know which way the wind blows
People act according to their interests

A fable from India:

The Well-Bred and the Ill-Bred

A man once stood up at a market-place in the East and said, "I have been ordered by the king to collect all the well-born and well-bred and bring them before him, since he wishes to reward them."

Everybody that heard him joined him, and he went towards the palace, surrounded by the whole town. Then he suddenly turned round and said, "The king has just sent me word that he means to help only those that have been ill-born and ill-bred to make up for their misfortunes."

The crowd lingered behind for a while, and then one after another joined the man as ill-born and ill-bred to merit the king's gifts.

The man said, "The world goes as the wind blows!"

The Well-Bred and the Ill-Bredsummary:

The people who write our tax codes know all about this unpleasant human tendency!

If there's a handout to be had, people want to be eligible.

(Am I the only one who wishes that the crowd in the story would receive a bit of comeuppance?)

The Western version of this expression, Know which way the wind blows, is often used to describe the behavior of politicians who try to anticipate which way voters are leaning on the issues and to be there waiting for them.

In other words, our criticism is not of the masses chasing the money, but of our leaders chasing their votes!

Know Which Way the Wind Blows and more Indian fables with morals.

More fables from India.

More stories with morals.

Storytelling to improve behavior.

New! Comments

Have your say!

Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.

Illustrated Aesop...for coloring!

Aesop's Fables your child can color!

Classic illustrations. Visit our download center.

Do you know enough Seuss to excel?