It was only October, but the weather was freezing cold in Varmaska. The houses along the narrow street leading to the city centre were deserted. A few hundred people inhabiting Varmaska had locked themselves inside their homes.
It was very cold for the birds as well, who were not prepared for the early winter.
“What shall we do?” a dove asked its fellows, all of them nesting on the roof of an abandoned house.
“The people do not come out. There is nothing much to eat. It is very cold.”
All doves decided to fly out of Varmaska, but a special dove with a red dot on its grey feathers chose not to.
“I will not go,” said the dove.
“But how will you survive here?”
“This is my home. I do not know how I will survive, but I will not give up because of this harsh weather.”
So it happened. All but one dove remained on the roof.
Soon, the bats took over the abandoned roof. Seeing the lonely dove there, they were surprised.
“Why did you not leave?” the bats asked the dove.
Without waiting for the answer, they quipped. “You will leave soon, and then all this will be ours.”
The dove, however, didn’t give up.
The weather turned harsher. Snowy one day, stormy the next, and bone-chilling the third.
The dove stayed. Staying hungry mostly, only venturing out once in a long while to find something to eat.
Seeing the dove’s resilience, the bats tried to help it.
And after many months, the weather turned.
The warmth of the sun turned the plants green. The people came out again.
The doves came back to reclaim their home.
The dove with red dots was there to welcome everyone home, as the bats departed to look for somewhere else to make their shelter.
“Without you, we could not have thought of returning. You showed us how not to give up,” the dove was told.