Stories & Tales
The White Dove

Text: Zakarria Tamer
Illustration: A. Rizkallah
Published by Dar al-Fata al-Arabi

A White Dove landed on a riverbank, weeping aloud. A Fish in the river looked up and said: "Why are you weeping? Are you unwell?"

The Dove replied, "I am weeping because when I returned to my nest, my child was not there. I am afraid she has lost the way home." The Fish said: "I am sorry for you. I am a mother too and i know how mothers feel when their children are hurt or lost. " My daughter is young and she cannot protect herself, " said the Dove. "I'll help you look eveywhere in the river," suggested the Fish. "Thank you, but you will not find her in the river, a bird with two wings cannot live in the water," said the Dove. "Alright," said the Fish. "It is no use weeping. It will not bring your daughter back to you."

The Dove flew on, continuing the search for her daughter. She felt tired and came down in a green field. She imagined she saw her daughter in trouble, crying and afraid. Suddenly, a Rabbit appeared. "Why are you weeping? Are you hungry?" asked the Rabbit.

"I am weeping because I have lost my daughter and I cannot find her," sobbed the Dove. The Rabbit offered to help the Dove in her search. The Dove thanked the Rabbit , but told him that all doves look alike and that he would not know her even if he were to see her.

The Dove flew over the fields. Presently, she saw a Donkey below her eating hay. She came down and landed beside him. She asked him if he had seen a small white dove. "What a silly question! Did anyone ever see a donkey looking at the sky?" asked the Donkey ,and continued: "I am always looking at the ground where my feet must go. I don't want to fall."

At that moment a black cat approached them both and said: "What are you two talking about?" "Did you see a small white dove?" asked the Dove. The Cat exclaimed, "I wish I had, because it would be in my stomach now!"

"You are a very disagreeable cat! How could you say such a thing to a mother who has lost her only child?" wailed the Dove. The Cat, quick to see that the Dove was in trouble, said: "Alright, let me eat you then, so that you might not be sad anymore!" The DOnkey became angry and told the Cat to leave immediately, or else he would throw her among one hundred hungry dogs.

The Cat sped away. The Donkey and the Dove said goodbye, and the Dove flew away still looking for her lost daughter. When darkness fell, the Dove returned to her nest. There in the nest, much to her surprise, she found her daughter. She sobbed with joy. "Is it really you? Where have you been?" cried the bird joyously.

"I ran away from home, " replied the Little White Dove. "How could you run away from your mother who loves you?" asked the mother Dove. "I wanted to see the world beyond the nest, and for a while I lost my way," responded the Little Dove. The mother Dove then asked her daughter how she found her way back to the nest. "I really don't know," replied the Little Dove.

The mother Dove remembered the day when she way young and had left the nest and how she had found her way home. It was through love she felt for the place where she was born. She explained this to her daughter by saying, "All those who leave home and are lost will be able to return, because their love for their home will always bring them back to their nest."