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Ain't no cryin' in war
Stop your crying, huh?
Pull up your boot straps!
It’s time to grow up!
[He looks inquisitively to the sky and walks long stridedly back and forth]
Yeah, I remember when I first started out to the hot desert lands of war.
[Looks down at the boy]
But, I’ve grown since then! And so will you!
[The commander laughs heartily and claps the soldier on the back, sending him tumbling to the ground. But the commander moves on in his rant.]
Damn,[HA HA HA!] That was a long time ago. I’m an old man now.
[He raises his voice over the soldiers loud wailing.]
Yup, yup, yup. Yeah I was so innocent before I came out here. But I grew up. And–uh– so will you! Wait, did I already say that? Ah, well…
[He takes a lasting look at the soldier, searching for his every desire and weakness]
Desire and weakness…
[He says aloud]
Well, ain’t that the same thing?!
[He asks loudly and gives another grand gafaw. But all the soldier does is bawl. So the commander stoops to look the boy in the eye.]
God… you can’t be more than two feet tall![HA HA HA!] They get younger and younger everyday.
[A sudden rage over the boy's crying angers the commander]
Hey, kid! Come on, I can barely hear myself think over here! Will you give it a rest?!
[And with every word the commander is ever the more livid. So, he calms down and stoops to the boy again.]
God…[He says, horrified.] You can’t even talk… can you?[Tears break the commanders voice and he brings his hand hard down on the soldier's face. Which only makes the boy cry even worse.]
Oh, grow up soldier! I had to! Hey… kid.[The tears remain in the commanders eyes.] You think my ma will send me something for my birthday this year?[He's talking more to himself than the child.] It is my Thirteenth… It’s a very important–
[The commander chokes down the sobs that steadily rise up his throat.]
Ah, well, a guy can hope, eh?
[And with one last glance at the crying child, sobbing in the cold mud, he trudges back to fight some else's battle]