Battle Scars

In an ancient kingdom in a far away land the young recruits of the kings army gathered to meet the Man At Arms. It was his job to turn peasants into warriors. They were undisciplined . They wandered about the yard gawking at everything. They spoke in loud voices about irrelevant topics. They paid no attention to the surroundings. The Man At Arms raised his hand and gave a sign to the watchers on the castle walls. The drums began a loud tattoo and the heavy oaken doors opened slowly. A hush falls over the recruits. He doesn’t speak a word at first. The young men instinctively follow him inside where there in the torchlight hang rows of battered and cracked shields. The Man At Arms speaks. “This is the Hall Of Honor. The men who once held these shields did not turn and run. They stared in the face of our enemies and held their ground. They proved their worth in heat of battle and kept the kingdom.” The young men marveled at the condition of shields on the walls. Dented, broken, scarred and in ruin all except for one shield at the end of the hall. It would have been in perfect condition had not been for heavy Patina of oxidation. The plaque beneath the unused shield read, Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. He fought no battle and his armor did rust. The Man At Arms noticed one of the recruits reading the plaque. “This man was a coward and always avoided confrontation. Nobody remembers his name.

After publishing the picture of Tiny several days ago one my coworkers on my day job pointed out a second turtle making his way along the outside of the office. All I had at the moment was my cellphone but I decided to walk over take a snapshot. He was fairly big for an Eastern Box Turtle. However as you can see he’s been through the wringer. Because he’s missing an eye I decided to name him Popeye after the famous cartoon sailor. His shell has sustained quite a bit of damage that seems to have healed over. I can tell that some scars are older. This kind of damage means bird attacks. (Larger birds will try to peck through the shell . ) He didn’t try to hide when I got close and I almost think he was daring me to try and pick him up. It’s the first time I’ve ever actually worried about being bitten by a box turtle. Popeye has certainly won his place in the Hall Of Honor. He also taught me that even though a battle will leave you with scars; victory is possible. It’s going to happen eventually. Eventually we all get a battle scar here and there. Some of us are going to have quite a few. But the scar is evidence of surviving the battle. Means you’re gaining experience, wisdom and strength. As long as you don’t give up the fight you’ll earn your place of honor.

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