context: A little boy is being carried through the sky by a female personification of the North Wind. “He began to wonder whether she would hear him if he spoke. He would try.
‘Please, North Wind,’ he said. ‘what is that noise?’
From high over his head came the voice of the North Wind, answering him gently, —
‘The noise of my besom. I am the old woman that sweeps the cobwebs from the sky; only I’m busy with the floor now.’” [my bolding]
definition: a broom, especially one of brush or twigs
definition courtesy of Dictionary.com
source: At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald