A Jar of Wind

In China there lived a man who had caught the wind in a preserving jar. To all visitors he said: “I’ve got him. He’s in there.” Many came and left again, shaking their heads. They had not felt any fresh wind. Some asked him: “What are you going to do with the empty jar?”

And he explained with pride: “When I need wind, I simply open the jar and immediately a cool breeze goes through the room. For example, when I receive guests in my attic apartment in the summer: ’Oof, it’s hot in here’, they groan, and I say ‘Just a moment, that’ll be solved right away’. One flick of the wrist – and a fresh breeze goes through the room. Or if something burns while cooking, with one jar of wind, all smells are quickly swept away.” Several said: “Then open the jar!”

But he answered: “For God’s sake! Then all the wind will be gone. And what should I then do with the jar?” The man kept the windows closed so that no stray puff of wind could blow the jar over and knock it to the ground. After his death, they opened the jar.

There was nothing in it other than stale air. They opened the windows. For the first time, a breath of fresh air blew through the room.

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