Oh Boye: Nobody Told Cuthbert Our Only Purpose Is to Stand Here and Get Trampled by the Cavalry
Oh, to be young again! When war seems a glorious dream wherein one can win honour and fame for The King and for one’s own name. But such things are reservéd only for the knighthood, and not for lowly peasants such as we. This is why it was rather saddening to see Cuthbert the hay baler so excited about his first battle, when in fact the only reason they put us out here is to get trampled by the enemy cavalry.
Like, when they said “Go stand in that open field with a pitchfork and don’t move until the battle is over” he somehow got the impression we were the main effort in this thing.
Mine heart sank a bit upon seeing his joy when they gave us some old coats of mail and told us the weight would help slow the enemy horsemen down as they dashed through our ranks, cutting us apart in the process. He didn’t even get the picture when they explained the part about trying to gash at the horses’ legs whilst they’re trampling us in a last ditch effort to bring one down.
And then Cuthbert comes over after the march and says, “Nothing like a hard day’s work, eh lads? Me can’t wait to tell me wyfe about this!” Like, doth this guy think we’re going to survive?
I nearly wept when he told me “Our names shall be sung in the Great Halls for all the ages, and hist’ry shall remember our actions on this daye!” Legally, peasants aren’t even allowed in the Great Halls where they sing things for all the ages. And I seriously doubt our commander even knows our names. I talked to the regiment’s scribe. He showed me the battle roster and told me we’re all just listed as “Peaſant” because it’s easier to write.
Even now, as the battle approaches, I am hesitant to breaketh the news to him. Should I tell him our sole purpose is to be crushed by the enemy’s heavy cavalry to allow our cavalry enough tyme to launch a counterattack? Or should I just let him continue to believe he is here to win glory?
He just seemeth so truly joyous to be serving as a human speedbump in a battle that otherwise would not have affected his lyfe in the least had he just stayed home.
Oh great, now he’s moving to the front line because “There’s more honour there.” One hath to feel bad for this guy.