Skip to main content

Translate

"A Siberian Winter" An English Story in Short

"A Siberian Winter" An English Story in Short

learning English by story

It was only minus 28 degrees Celsius when we landed in Irkutsk. But that was cold enough to make breathing an effort - the air felt like ice as it scraped the back of my throat. Five minutes later, I needed a second pair of gloves and pulled my scarf tight over my nose and mouth. I was obviously a beginner at this.

At the petrol station, Mikhail the attendant laughed when we asked if he wasn't freezing. He'd spent the whole day outside with no more than his fur hat and a sheepskin coat for warmth. It was mid-afternoon and icicles were hanging from his moustache like Dracula's fangs. He said he never drank to stay warm - unlike many others.

Vodka

There's a belief in Siberia that enough vodka will insulate you from the cold. It's been proved tragically wrong in the past few weeks. Dozens of bodies of the homeless or men walking drunkenly back from the pub were hauled out of the snowdrifts, frozen or so badly frost-bitten that many will never walk again.

The local hospital in Irkutsk is overwhelmed. Ironically, it's the burns unit that's taken all the frostbite victims - 200 of them in just two weeks in one town. Even here, icicles are hanging down on the inside of the windows, though the heating is on full power. The doctor was too busy performing amputations to talk to us.

Shortages

But we could hear the screams from the operating room. They'd run out of anaesthetic after performing 60 amputations that week. The other patients could hear it too, and one girl in the corridor, clinging to her mother for support, was near to tears.

Nastya is only 16. Last week she missed her last bus home, so she walked instead - seven kilometres through the snow, in temperatures of minus 40. She had no gloves. Now her hands are bandaged and hang down uselessly. She'll find out soon if they need to be amputated.

She was far from the worst case. In one bed, Nikolai Dobtsov lay quietly staring at the ceiling. Underneath the sheets, blood was seeping through his bandages, from where his feet and hands had been amputated the day before. He was a truck driver, he explained, with a good job delivering wood - and recently there'd been a lot of demand. So he'd set out to deliver a last load upcountry. The weather forecast - just minus 25 in Irkutsk - seemed to suggest that the journey was safe. It wasn't. His truck broke down miles from anywhere, and for 6 desperate hours he fought to repair the axle. He even greased his hands for protection, and finally managed to get the truck going again. Somehow he found the strength to drive himself back and straight to hospital, but it was already too late.

I asked Nikolai what would happen to him now. He just laughed, and shrugged. Nikolai has no wife or family in Irkutsk - and invalidity benefit is a pittance. Life in an institution may be the best he can hope for, and he'll almost certainly never work again.

Resilience

That incredible stoicism is everywhere. In Irkutsk at least, people seem simply to accept that winter is harsh - and this one especially so. It is without doubt the cruellest Siberian winter in living memory. Yet outdoors, everything appears to function normally - even schools re-opened as the temperature rose briefly to minus 25.

The trams and buses are back on the roads, though everyone drives slowly to avoid skidding on the layers of ice below the grit. The main street bustles with people wrapped in layers against the cold. But even indoors, the chill is inescapable. After her shift as a tram conductor, Natasha Fillipova comes home to a freezing house. She shows us the bedroom - where ice has built up on the inside walls. She scrapes it off with her fingers, but that has little effect. One night, Natasha says, she washed her hair before going to bed. When she woke up, it was frozen solid to the wall. The children are doing their homework in the bathroom - the only room warm enough to sit in. Natasha doesn't want to complain. But she is angry with the state and the architects for building shoddy houses.

The flats here are supposed to withstand up to minus 40 degrees. They don't, and her children are ill with coughs and colds. Natasha's anger is brief, and she seems faintly embarrassed about it. Siberians are used to cold weather, she explains. Here, she tells us, people prefer to rely on themselves - and the knowledge that eventually, spring will come.

subscribe inflame story website for more English motivational short stories with moral

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"A BIRD IN A CAGE" An English Story in Short

"A BIRD IN A CAGE" An English Story in Short learning English by story One day, when I was a young bird, my life completely changed. I do not know how long ago it was, but I still remember flying through the sky looking down at the green forest below.  All of a sudden, while I was looking for food, everything went black.  I crashed into something soft and was unable to move. I struggled to get loose, but I was not able to get free. I was put into a box. The walls were very hard, and I did not have much room to move. I hit the walls with my wings and yelled for help. After a while, since no one came to help me, I just gave up.  Inside the box, I found some water and food to eat. I do not know how long I was in the box.  Suddenly, the box opened and a bright light blinded me. I dropped to the ground. I felt the warmth of the sun on my back. It took a minute for my eyes to adjust to the light. When I was able to see, I looked around. I was FREE!  I stretched my wings and waved t

"The Four Smart Students" An English motivational short story with moral

​​🍂 "The Four Smart Students" An English motivational short story with moral learning English by story One night four college students were out partying late night and didn’t study for the test which was scheduled for the next day. In the morning, they thought of a plan. They made themselves look dirty with grease and dirt. Then they went to the Dean and said they had gone out to a wedding last night and on their way back the tire of their car burst and they had to push the car all the way back. So they were in no condition to take the test. The Dean thought for a minute and said they can have the re-test after 3 days. They thanked him and said they will be ready by that time. On the third day, they appeared before the Dean. The Dean said that as this was a Special Condition Test, all four were required to sit in separate classrooms for the test. They all agreed as they had prepared well in the last 3 days. The Test consisted of only 2 questions with the tota

​​"Helping Others" An English motivational short story with moral

​​"Helping Others" An English motivational short story with moral short story Once there was a small boy named Shankar. He belonged to a poor family.  One day, he was crossing through the forest carrying some woods. He saw an old man who was very hungry.  Shankar wanted to give him some food, but he did not have food for his own.  So he continued on his way.  On his way, he saw a deer who was very thirsty.  He wanted to give him some water, but he did not have water for himself.  So he went on his way ahead. Then he saw a man who wanted to make a camp but he did not have woods.  Shankar asked his problem and gave some woods to him.  In return, he gave him some food and water.  Now he went back to the old man and gave him some food and gave some water to the deer. The old man and the deer were very happy.   Shankar then happily went on his way. However, one day Shankar fell down the hill.  He was in pain but he couldn’t move and no one was there to help him.  But, th

"The Crow and The Necklace" An English Story in Short

"The Crow and The Necklace" An English Story in Short learning English by story Once a crow and his wife built their nest atop a huge banyan tree beside a river. They were very happy there. But when the female crow laid her eggs, they were in for an unpleasant shock. A huge snake who lived in a hole at the bottom of the tree came up and ate all their beautiful eggs. The crows were helpless with anger and pain. “You can’t let this wicked snake eat our children anymore," cried the female crow bitterly. “You have to find a way to save them from him,’ she said. “Let us go to our friend the jackal. He is very clever. He will surely be able to help us with a solution," said the male crow. They both flew to the cave in the forest where their friend the jackal lived. The jackal saw them coming. “Hello my friends. Why do you look so sad and worried? Can I help you in any way?"he asked. “Every time my wife lays eggs in our nest, a wicked snake living at the foot of the t

​​"Appreciation of Hard Work" An English motivational short story with moral

​​"Appreciation of Hard Work" An English motivational short story with moral short story One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company. He passed the first interview, the director did the last interview, made the last decision. The director discovered from the CV that the youth’s academic achievements were excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, Never had a year when he did not score. The director asked, “Did you obtain any scholarships in school?” The youth answered “none”. The director asked,  “Was it your father who paid for your school fees?” The youth answered, “My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid for my school fees”. The director asked,  “Where did your mother work?” The youth answered, “My mother worked as clothes cleaner. The director requested the youth to show his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and p

"Find your own destiny" An English Short Story with moral

"Find your own destiny" An English Short Story with moral Once five men were caught in a thick forest. The first man said, I will go left. Because my Intuition said so. The second one said, I will go the right because the right comes from the word rightness. The third one said, I will go back the way we came. The fourth one said, I will go straight. We should move forward, the forest will end and we will go somewhere new. The fifth one said, you are all wrong. There is a better solution. Wait for me.He climbed the tallest tree he could find while everyone else went their own way. From above he saw the shortest way to exit. He could also see the order in which the others would exit. He understood the problem and found the best solution. He knew that he did everything right. The others are were wrong. They were stubborn and they didn't listen to him. He was the real wise man. But he was wrong. Everyone was right. They were all wise. The man who went to t

​​"A limit of your Kindness" An English motivational short story with moral

​​"A limit of your Kindness" An English motivational short story with moral english short stories Recently Steve had a car accident. So he put his car in the garage to carry out the repair work. Since he had to go to the job daily, he decided that until the car is ready, he will travel by the metro train. One day, he noticed a homeless guy at the train station at night. He felt pity for him, so he gave him some change from his pocket. The homeless guy thanked him for it. Next day again, he noticed the homeless guy at the same place. This time Steve though to get him something to eat, so he went outside the station and brought him a meal. The homeless guy thanked him for his kindness. But Steve got curious and asked him, “How did you get to this point?” The homeless guy looked up at him and with a smile, he said, “By Showing Love.” Steve didn’t understand it, so he asked him, “What do you mean by that?” The homeless guy replied that “Throughout my whole life, I made

"AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP" Short Story in English

AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP One night, three thieves stole a lot of money from a rich man’s house. They put the money in a bag and went to the forest. They felt very hungry. So, one of them went to a nearby village to buy food. The other two remained in the forest to take care of the bag of money. The thief that went for food had an evil idea. He ate his food at a hotel. Then he bought food for his two mates in the forest. He mixed a strong poison with the food. He thought, “Those two will eat this poisoned food and die. Then I will get all the money for myself.” Meanwhile, the two wicked men in the forest decided to kill their mate on return. They thought that they would divide the money between the two of them. All the three wicked men carried out their cruel plans. The thief who wanted all the money for himself came to the forest with the poisoned food. The two men in the forest hit him and killed him. Then they ate the poisoned food and died. Thus, these evil people met with an e

"The Hospitality of The Pigeon" An English Story in Short

"The Hospitality of The Pigeon" An English Story in Short learning English by story Once upon a time, there lived two pigeons. They were husband and wife. They spend their day looking for food. In the evening they would come and rest on their favorite tree in the forest.  One evening, the wife returned home early. A usual she was waiting for her husband, when suddenly it started raining. She strated to worry. “Where are you, my dear? You never get so late," she whispered to herself.   Just then she saw a bird-catcher coming towards her. In a cage he had a pigeon. It was her husband. “OH no, what shall I do now" I wish I can help my husband," she said. She desperately tried to distract the bird-catcher by flapping her wings, but all in vain.  Soon, it stopped raining. “Brrr! It is so cold," said the bird-catcher. His clothes were wet. He decided to sit under the same tree where the two pigeons lived.  The poor wife sat by her husband’s cage. And she started

"Kismet" short story with moral

"Kismet" short story with moral short stories The fifth heat in the free-for-all was just over. "Lu-Lu" had won, and the crowd on the grand stand and the hangers-on around the track were cheering themselves hoarse. Clear through the noisy clamour shrilled a woman's cry. "Ah—I have dropped my scorecard." A man in front of her turned. "I have an extra one, madame. Will you accept it?"  Her small, modishly-gloved hand closed eagerly on it before she lifted her eyes to his face. Both started convulsively. The man turned very pale, but the woman's ripe-tinted face coloured darkly.  "You?" she faltered. His lips parted in the coldly grave smile she remembered and hated. "You are not glad to see me," he said calmly, "but that, I suppose, was not to be expected. I did not come here to annoy you. This meeting is as unexpected to me as to you. I had no suspicion that for the last half-hour I had been standing next to my—&qu