The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

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Discharged Soldier Who Faces Peacetime

Themes: Challenge | Freedom

When I received my dismissal, my captain said I might go where I liked. I had no money, so I went to my brothers and asked them to take me in until war broke out again. “What can we do with you?” they said. “You are no use to us. Go make your own living.”

I slung my gun over my shoulder and went on my way. I came to a wide and desolate heath where nothing stood but a circle of trees. There I sat, staring into the earth. I had no other trade but fighting. How would I live in peace?

I heard a rustle, looked around, and saw a strange man standing before me. He had cloven feet, and wore a stately green coat. I knew who he was, but I am a solider, and even the Devil doesn’t frighten me.

Discharged Soldier Who Faces Peacetime in Bearskin, Grimms. Picture by Norman Rockwell.

Discharged Soldier Who Faces Peacetime