The man told me to go southeast to Franklin, Tennessee and join that army. My journey had begun as a drummer boy. For long, endless days I climbed the Appalachians, for what seemed eternity. It took me five days to reach Franklin. Partly, because I only walked three-and-a-half days and then a nice old peddler offered me a ride the rest of the way. His name was Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith was very kind and gave me a blanket to sleep with and food and water for my journey. Several times the Yankees passed the wagon and when Mr. Smith saw 'em coming he'd point his thumb down and say, "hurry son, they're a'coming". Then when they were out of sight, he'd say, "A-OK, all clear!" And I'd lift my head up and look around checking just in case. Then Mr. Smith started singing "Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall. (It's his favorite song.)
When we reached Franklin I was told this army had enough drummer boys and to go to Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia. I started saying good-bye to Mr. Smith, but he said he was headed toward Kennesaw. I knew he was lying, but I accepted his generous offer.
Once again Mr. Smith and I traveled over rocky trails and treacherous hills. This journey was shorter, only three days. But, the Yankees were worse. They came more often and when they came they looked in the back, so, I couldn't hide under the sacks. So, instead I hid in a bush near the wagon. One time a Yankee held a gun to Mr. Smith's head while other soldiers checked the wagon. The Yankees threatened to kill Mr. Smith if they found anyone hiding in the wagon. Even though they didn't find anyone they stole the better of the two horses, carrots, two blankets, salted pork and kitchen utensils.
Mr. Smith told me that the man who had held a pistol to his head was General Sherman! I'd seen General Sherman, the main general for the Yankees! He was the meanest man I'd ever heard of. From then on I listened to the Yankees talk to Mr. Smith. General Grant came too, but he wasn't nearly as mean as General Sherman. General Grant only stole a sack of flour. He didn't even ask Mr. Smith if he'd seen any northerners lately.
Finally, we reached Kennesaw Mountain. I met General Lee and he posted me at the top of the mountain. He said to be ready, because the battle could begin any time now. I said good-bye to Mr. Smith and promised to write.
General Lee was right. After about three hours I saw General Sherman leading his army of bluebellies. I thought we were ready, but we weren't. As soon as the bluebellies and General Sherman started firing cannons and guns Confederates fell to the ground like leaves in Autumn. How could the bluebellies and General Sherman do this? Killing all these people and then robbing them of their goods. Right then and there I realized war was bad, and the bluebellies weren't bad people that maybe they did bad things, but they weren't really bad. As I ran off the battlefield I yelled with all my might, "I'm going home, I'm going home!" And I did go home.
The next few years were tough. Papa had lost the plantation and the slaves. He had trouble finding a job too. Food and water were scarce. I even had to get a job. But with the loving help and support from my family we made it!
The moral of this story is no matter how hard it gets stick with your family and you'll be o.k.
चिल्लाओ मत !
एक हिन्दू सन्यासी अपने शिष्यों के साथ गंगा नदी के तट पर नहाने पहुंचा. वहां एक ही परिवार के कुछ लोग अचानक आपस में बात करते-करते एक दूसरे पर क्रोधित हो उठे और जोर-जोर से चिल्लाने लगे .
संयासी यह देख तुरंत पलटा और अपने शिष्यों से पुछा ;
” क्रोध में लोग एक दूसरे पर चिल्लाते क्यों हैं ?’
शिष्य कुछ देर सोचते रहे ,एक ने उत्तर दिया, ” क्योंकि हम क्रोध में शांति खो देते हैं इसलिए !”
” पर जब दूसरा व्यक्ति हमारे सामने ही खड़ा है तो भला उस पर चिल्लाने की क्या ज़रुरत है , जो कहना है वो आप धीमी आवाज़ में भी तो कह सकते हैं “, सन्यासी ने पुनः प्रश्न किया .
कुछ और शिष्यों ने भी उत्तर देने का प्रयास किया पर बाकी लोग संतुष्ट नहीं हुए .
अंततः सन्यासी ने समझाया …
“जब दो लोग आपस में नाराज होते हैं तो उनके दिल एक दूसरे से बहुत दूर हो जाते हैं . और इस अवस्था में वे एक दूसरे को बिना चिल्लाये नहीं सुन सकते ….वे जितना अधिक क्रोधित होंगे उनके बीच की दूरी उतनी ही अधिक हो जाएगी और उन्हें उतनी ही तेजी से चिल्लाना पड़ेगा.
क्या होता है जब दो लोग प्रेम में होते हैं ? तब वे चिल्लाते नहीं बल्कि धीरे-धीरे बात करते हैं , क्योंकि उनके दिल करीब होते हैं , उनके बीच की दूरी नाम मात्र की रह जाती है.”
सन्यासी ने बोलना जारी रखा ,” और जब वे एक दूसरे को हद से भी अधिक चाहने लगते हैं तो क्या होता है ? तब वे बोलते भी नहीं , वे सिर्फ एक दूसरे की तरफ देखते हैं और सामने वाले की बात समझ जाते हैं.”
“प्रिय शिष्यों ; जब तुम किसी से बात करो तो ये ध्यान रखो की तुम्हारे ह्रदय आपस में दूर न होने पाएं , तुम ऐसे शब्द मत बोलो जिससे तुम्हारे बीच की दूरी बढे नहीं तो एक समय ऐसा आएगा कि ये दूरी इतनी अधिक बढ़ जाएगी कि तुम्हे लौटने का रास्ता भी नहीं मिलेगा. इसलिए चर्चा करो, बात करो लेकिन चिल्लाओ मत.”