Scéal eile By Noel War Horse


France WWI

We’ve been in these trenches for days. My ears have got used to the constant cracking of gunfire in the distance and the constant fear that one of the flashing shells might land in my trench. I haven’t had a bit of good food since ,well, I can’t remember the last time I had any. This is a lot different to what I pictured the war to be. With blood, dirt and sweat stains all over me and the cries of wounded soldiers in my ears, it’s hard to remember the time  that I was marching out of town with my pressed uniform, laughing and singing marching songs.

When I heard the sergeant yell “Positions!”, I grabbed my rifle and raced to the ladder. Then the bagpipes started playing and I leaped up the ladder and darted into cover behind a sand bag. When the enemy’s shooting ceased, my platoon were ordered to search the trenches for food,drink, medical supplies and ammunition. As I was going through an ammunition crate I heard a soldier’s terrified cry from up ahead, “Gas, Gas, Gas!”

I woke up in a hospital bed with a bandage covering half my face. The doctor told me that some soldiers found me when the gas dispersed and that the gas had damaged my eyesight but it was not permanent. I had heard an officer outside the hospital saying that there was a horse found out in no mans land. It had been caught in razor sharp barbed wire. That’s when a British and a German soldier went out to get him. When they freed the horse from the wire, they flipped a coin for who would get to keep him. I heard the vet say he had tetanus and he was too busy to treat him, so he would have to be put down. On impulse, I decided to whistle, like I used to back home in the fields, to call Joey. That’s when I heard the clipping of  hooves echoing on the cobbles coming towards me.