In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, what legend did the Arabs recount for generations thereafter?
Santiago performs a great miracle in front of a warring, tribal chieftain and his soldiers. Without any foreknowledge or preparation, the Alchemist tells the chief that the boy can change himself into the wind. They negotiate to give the boy three days to do so. During these three days, the chief and his soldiers wait and watch as the boy meditates and speaks with the desert, the wind, the sun, and then with the Soul of the World. They are witnesses to this incredible and impossible challenge. Some soldiers even become afraid when the wind kicks up so forcefully that they ask the chief to let the challenge end before they die. The chief takes note to relieve those men from duty afterwards for showing such cowardice.
After Santiago performs the miracle and ends up on the other side of the encampment, they figure that he actually did turn into the wind. Coelho explains it in the following manner:
"The Simum blew that day as it had never blown before. For generations thereafter, the Arabs recounted the legend of a boy who had turned himself into the wind, almost destroying a military camp, in defiance of the most power chief in the desert"(153).