These are some fragments of memory from a young man. He lived in a place called Something-by-a word starting with L. He was young, probably late teens, and was just beginning to think of himself as a man rather than a boy. He was likely pretty unremarkable--he was a farm worker and liked his job, he loved his mom and she loved him. The impression that I have is that his intellectual functioning was not high. If IQ tests had existed back then, I think he would have scored on the lower edge of normal, or possibly mildly impaired. What little I remember has to do with how he felt, rather than what he thought. He was one of those people who live in the present without thinking much about what it all means. He liked going out to work on early summer mornings. He especially liked to drive the horse-drawn mowing machine. Why? He just did. He liked animals, although sometimes that particular horse could be a--for some reason I want to describe the horse as a "ninny," although that may have been the first time I've used the word. He liked baby rabbits, and if he saw some, he'd stop mowing, get off the machine, and move them out of the way. He also liked birds, and once told a boy not to throw rocks at a tree where there was a nest. He seems to have been a contented, peaceful guy with a good life. Unfortunately, that ended with the war. I don't think this guy had any clue what war even was until he got sent into the middle of one. Among the few clear memories that stand out is being amused by eating out of a small metal tray with a sliding cover, that had compartments for food and a tiny spoon or spork. For some reason he really thought this thing was funny--both clever and pointless. He never realized that they ate off these because this was the only practical way to eat in a trench. He also liked the uniforms because they were newer and less worn than his regular clothes. He resented all the yelling. He died bleeding out from a bad leg injury that may have been shrapnel or a bullet wound. He was resentful for reasons he was unable to express--the unfairness of it, the stupid people who kill each other instead of doing a good job, wanting his mother to come get him, dying... The last thought he had was clear, and something I don't believe he had ever heard of before that moment. He thought, angrily, "I'm coming back, and next time I'll be a girl!" His reasoning was that girls didn't have to be soldiers, and therefore wouldn't suffer as he had.