The West wind
It was the first day of spring. Jane and Michael knew it at once, because they heard Mr. Banks singing in the bathroom, and there was only one day in the year when he did that. Then he went out into the garden and smelled the air.
«Hm, I think it is the West Wind. It’s warm today,» he said.
«Did you hear what he said?» Michael took Jane’s arm.
«It is the West Wind,» she said slowly.
They didn’t say a word but they had the same thought.
They forgot it soon, because everything was fine that morning. But trouble began after lunch.
Jane was in the garden. Michael ran out of the house, very red in the face.
«Look, Jane, look!» he cried. In his hand he had Mary Poppins’ compass.
«The compass?» said Jane.
Michael suddenly started crying.
«She gave it to me. Oh, oh, there must be something wrong! What is going to happen? She has never given me anything before.»
That afternoon Mary Poppins was very kind. She was thinking about something. At last Michael asked her:
«Oh, do be cross, Mary Poppins! Do be cross again! It is not like you.»
«Trouble trouble and it will trouble you!» said Mary Poppins crossly, in her usual voice. And the same moment he felt a little better.
«Perhaps it’s only a feeling,» he said to Jane.
«Perhaps,» said Jane slowly.
The wind grew stronger and stronger. They could hear it everywhere inside the house: down the chimneys and near the windows, even in the Nursery.
Mary Poppins gave them their supper and took away the plates after it.
«There!» she said. Then she put one hand on Michael’s head and the other on Jane’s shoulder.
«Now,» she said, «I am just going off for a few minutes.»
She went out and shut the door quietly behind her. They wanted to run after her, but something stopped them. They were waiting for her to come back.
«How silly we are,» said Jane. «Everything’s all right.» But she knew it was not true. They still sat there at the table, waiting.
At last Michael said: «She’s been gone a very long time, hasn’t she?» But there was no answer. Suddenly they heard somebody shut the front door.
«Michael!» said Jane, jumping up.
«Jane!» said Michael, with a white look on his face.
They ran quickly to the window and looked out. Down, stood Mary Poppins, dressed in her coat and hat, with her carpet bag in one hand and her umbrella in the other. The wind was blowing wildly about her. She smiled at the wind and opened the umbrella. The wind got under the umbrella and lifted Mary Poppins from the ground. Then it lifted her over the front gate and carried her over the cherry trees in the Lane.
«She’s going, Jane, she’s going!» cried Michael.
Jane and Michael opened the window and cried: «Mary Poppins! Mary Poppins, come back!» But she did not hear them. She went up into the air. At last she was over the hill and the children couldn’t see her.
«I wonder if we’ll ever see her again?» said Jane and started to take off her clothes because it was time to go to sleep.
«What is this under my pillow?»
It was a small parcel there. When Jane opened it, she cried:
«It’s her picture,» she said. And it was! Under it was written, «Mary Poppins by Bert.» Jane saw that there was a letter in the parcel too. It said: «Dear Jane, Michael had the compass so the picture is for you. Au revoir. Mary Poppins.»
Jane didn’t understand the last word, so she asked Michael: «What does ‘Au revoir’ mean in English?»
«Au revoir? I think it means To Meet Again’.»
Jane and Michael looked at each other. Happiness shone in their eyes. They knew what Mary Poppins meant. «That’s all right,» Michael said. «She always does what she says she will.»