Sun was up, shining on the meadows and grain plains where people have worked. Me, I was on the cart, riding next to an old men we knew as Kridock, General Kridock I should say. He was a strange silent man of long beard and sad eyes. Whenever he would look at me, I would recall of my late father that was serving him in war against Zaria. A long fur coat covered him and his broken boots. His hands showed the unspoken stories of fatigue and pain where scars deepen his back of the hand, outlining the fragile bones that once wielded blade.
We rode to one of the fields with bean-corn he planted to feed his family. Me and my brother agreed to help the old man, because his wife promised us few months of lunch. Soon he jumped from the cart like a young fellow, took the sicle, spit his tired hands and got to work.
– Though old man. – brother spoke with sparks in eyes.
– What did you expect? He was a general. He fought the Zarian Royal Mamluks and slayed the zarian auxiliary in one charge… Look at the crops. Like an army. – I pointed at the field where all of the plants lined up one after the other in almost unbelievable straight column.
The long trunks of the plant were solid with few leafs falling aside like small shields where thin weed around them played spears, and the bean-corn chacune looked like a short battle sword. All plants were like clones, the astonishing copy of the most developed, health plant, bravely staring at the deadly rays of the Sun.
– You must have done a lot of work here general to make these crops like this. – I said leaned on my side, observing the old man and his pride planted in dirt.
– Ay, I spent a lot of time with my boys. – he spoke without a turn and started to swing his sickle.
– Boys? You consider these plants your boys? – brother asked, then I elbowed his ribs and told them to shut up.
– Ay, I created them. They are mine… I created soldiers, men. I created war and doom upon our enemies and this crops will provide a feast for the men still marching the desert.
My brother and me just looked at each other when the brother gesticulated that the general might be mad. However, we had no interest in investigating that, so we silently fell to work beside him. The General’s eyes lit with every powerful swing of blade, teeth screeched, arms got more depicted with bulky veins and his face got covered in rage. My brother shook his head, watching the suffering of the old man, but me… I knew Kridocks torment. His action, precise and swift could mean only one thing. He was mowing down the Zarian infantry once again.
Sound of plant breaking, sickle running through the hollow trunks and rumbbing of the bean-corn didn’t sang the noise into the general’s ears, but instead of it, memory of Zarian dead soldiers cries played in his head as he imagined their tanned faces under his might.
Thomas Hiram Hotchkiss (1834-1869), Harvest Scene, 1858, oil on canvas.
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