Riding the Wind. H. Ford.

"The North Wind woke her betimes next morning, and puffed himself up, and made himself so big and so strong that it was frightful to see him, and away they went, high up through the air, as if they would not stop until they had reached the very end of the world. Down below there was such a storm! It blew down woods and houses, and when they were above the sea the ships were wrecked by hundreds. And thus they tore on and on, and a long time went by, and then yet more time passed, and still they were above the sea, and the North Wind grew tired, and more tired, and at last so utterly weary that he was scarcely able to blow any longer, and he sank and sank, lower and lower, until at last he went so low that the waves dashed against the heels of the poor girl he was carrying." 

Over the course of the narrator's quest to find the palace North of the Sun and West of the Moon, she meets the four winds (one for each direction). Eventually, it's the North Wind who actually gets her to her final destination.  In the Northern hemisphere, the north wind signals cold weather and seasonal change. (The opposite is true in the Southern hemisphere, where the north wind is hot.) The North Wind is named Boreas in Greek mythology, Negagfok in Inuit legends, and Qebui in Egyptian mythology.  

The North Wind plays a part in several stories including "The North Wind and the Sun" (Aesop's Fables) and the Norwegian fairy tale "The Lad Who Went to the North Wind." I've included both below. (On a side note, I'd like to see a story where one of the most powerful winds was female. I'm curious how these stories would play out with a gender swap. Could be fun.)

The North Wind and the Sun (Aesop's Fables)

THE NORTH WIND and the Sun disputed as to which was the most powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes. The North Wind first tried his power and blew with all his might, but the keener his blasts, the closer the Traveler wrapped his cloak around him, until at last, resigning all hope of victory, the Wind called upon the Sun to see what he could do. The Sun suddenly shone out with all his warmth. The Traveler no sooner felt his genial rays than he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed and bathed in a stream that lay in his path.

Persuasion is better than Force.

 "The Lad Who Went to the North Wind" (Norwegian fairy tale)

Once on a time there was an old widow who had one son and, as she was poorly and weak, her son had to go up into the safe to fetch meal for cooking; but when he got outside the safe, and was just going down the steps, there came the North Wind, puffing and blowing, caught up the meal, and so away with it through the air. Then the lad went back into the safe for more; but when he came out again on the steps, if the North Wind didn’t come again and carry off the meal with a puff; and more than that, he did so the third time. At this the lad got very angry; and as he thought it hard that the North Wind should behave so, he thought he’d just look him up, and ask him to give up his meal.

So off he went, but the way was long, and he walked and walked; but at last he came to the North Wind’s house.

“Good day!” said the lad, and “thank you for coming to see us yesterday.”

“GOOD DAY!” answered the North Wind, for his voice was loud and gruff, “AND THANKS FOR COMING TO SEE ME. WHAT DO YOU WANT?”

“Oh!” answered the lad, “I only wished to ask you to be so good as to let me have back that meal you took from me on the safe steps, for we haven’t much to live on; and if you’re to go on snapping up the morsel we have there’ll be nothing for it but to starve.”

“I haven’t got your meal,” said the North Wind; “but if you are in such need, I’ll give you a cloth which will get you everything you want, if you only say, ‘Cloth, spread yourself, and serve up all kinds of good dishes!’”

With this the lad was well content. But, as the way was so long he couldn’t get home in one day, he turned into an inn on the way; and when they were going to sit down to supper, he laid the cloth on a table which stood in the corner and said:

“Cloth spread yourself, and serve up all kinds of good dishes.”

He had scarce said so before the cloth did as it was bid; and all who stood by thought it a fine thing, but most of all the landlady. So, when all were fast asleep, at dead of night, she took the lad’s cloth, and put another in its stead, just like the one he had got from the North Wind, but which couldn’t so much as serve up a bit of dry bread.

So, when the lad woke, he took his cloth and went off with it, and that day he got home to his mother.

“Now,” said he, “I’ve been to the North Wind’s house, and a good fellow he is, for he gave me this cloth, and when I only say to it, ‘Cloth, spread yourself, and serve up all kinds of good dishes,’ I get any sort of food I please.”

“All very true, I dare say,” said his mother; “but seeing is believing, and I shan’t believe it till I see it.”

So the lad made haste, drew out a table, laid the cloth on it, and said:

“Cloth, spread yourself, and serve all up kinds of good dishes.”

But never a bit of dry bread did the cloth serve up.

“Well,” said the lad, “there’s no help for it but to go to the North Wind again;” and away he went.

So he came to where the North Wind lived late in the afternoon.

“Good evening!” said the lad.

“Good evening,” said the North Wind.

“I want my rights for that meal of ours which you took,” said the lad; “for as for that cloth I got, it isn’t worth a penny.”

“I’ve got no meal,” said the North Wind; “but yonder you have a ram which coins nothing but golden ducats as soon as you say to it:

“‘Ram, ram! Make money!’”

So the lad thought this a fine thing but as it was too far to get home that day, he turned in for the night to the same inn where he had slept before.

Before he called for anything, he tried the truth of what the North Wind had said of the ram, and found it all right; but when the landlord saw that, he thought it was a famous ram, and, when the lad had fallen asleep, he took another which couldn’t coin gold ducats, and changed the two.

Next morning off went the lad; and when he got home to his mother he said:

“After all, the North Wind is a jolly fellow; for now he has given me a ram which can coin golden ducats if I only say, ‘Ram, ram! Make money!’”

“All very true, I dare say,” said his mother; “but I shan’t believe any such stuff until I see the ducats made.”

“Ram, ram! Make money!” said the lad; but if the ram made anything it wasn’t money.

So the lad went back again to the North Wind and blew him up, and said the ram was worth nothing, and he must have his rights for the meal.

“Well,” said the North Wind; “I’ve nothing else to give you but that old stick in the corner yonder; but it’s a stick of that kind that if you say:

“‘Stick, stick! Lay on!’ It lays on till you say:

“‘Stick, stick! Now stop!’”

So, as the way was long, the lad turned in this night too to the landlord; but as he could pretty well guess how things stood as to the cloth and the ram, he lay down at once on the bench and began to snore, as if he were asleep.

Now the landlord, who easily saw that the stick must be worth something, hunted up one which was like it, and when he heard the lad snore, was going to change the two, but just as the landlord was about to take it the lad bawled out:

“Stick, stick! Lay on!”

So the stick began to beat the landlord, till he jumped over chairs, and tables, and benches, and yelled and roared:

“Oh my! Oh my! Bid the stick be still, else it will beat me to death, and you shall have back both your cloth and your ram.”

When the lad thought the landlord had got enough, he said:

“Stick, stick! Now stop!”

Then he took the cloth and put it into his pocket, and went home with his stick in his hand, leading the ram by a cord round its horns; and so he got his rights for the meal he had lost.