Right now I am too small and I don’t know who is waging this war and why. Every night and sometimes in the day-time, I hear same thunder of cannon and exchange of rifle shots. And I decided to become an artilleryman when I grow up. Why? I don’t know… Maybe, because I’m sick and tired of grazing my cow every day and I want to be a hero. 

I graze my cow in a big ravine at the bottom of which there is a small pool or a large puddle, more accurately. There is water and lush grass for the cow. With my mother’s permission, I always have a bottle of vodka with me, just in case…

Usually, I go and sit down on the edge of the road crossing the ravine while my cow is grazing. It is my innocent amusements. One day a truck with a towed artillery piece attached to it stopped in front of me. I took the opportunity, approached the artillerymen and said loudly: “When I grow up I want to be an artilleryman too. Let me fire a shot from the cannon and will give you a bottle of vodka.”

My heartbeat was ramped up with excitement, I flushed with heat and drops of sweat stood on my forehead. At first nothing seemed to happen, and I began to relax. But then soldiers removed covers, unhooked the artillery cannon, pointed the cannon’s muzzle at the field, took the projectile out of the green box and loaded it. 

They gestured to the cannon and showed me two silver wheels on it. I turned the wheels with both hands and saw that barrel responds. I continued to turn the wheels and suddenly a shot was fired. 

The projectile holder cartridge fall and rolled over on the ground, but the projectile flew in the direction I had pointed it. My ears were ringing from the shot; I thought I had become deaf. I handed the battle of vodka to the artillerymen, one of them opened it with his teeth and said: “To your trial by fire!”

The soldiers passed the bottle from hand to hand. Then they covered the cannon, hooked it to the truck and left. All I had were ringing in my ears and a real cartridge. My heart throbbed eagerly and I thought gleefully: “All my friends will envy me!”

When I went to the ravine, I saw a fresh bomb crater. And then I saw my cow lying dead at the bottom of the ravine. There was the animal’s blood that had dripped lay in the black patches upon the ground and a swarm of flies was hovering over its body.


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