| The village knew nothing of weapons. Occasionally a group of the king's men would come through and stay the night. They had swords and guns and such and would even fire off their guns for our amusement. Very loud, spewing fire and smoke, Great entertainment... but useless to our lives. No one I knew or anyone else knew ever had the need to kill anyone. Such events were just unheard of and as for hunting, for that, you need a tool that will actually hit what you are aiming at. Longbow, perfect. Gun, worthless. How the King could expect his soldiers to fight with such complicated, unreliable, inaccurate machines was beyond us. Of course, we knew nothing of the unique peculiarities of war.
Yes... yes, there was a war in the time of our great grandfathers but it never came anywhere near our village. All that is now remembered of it concerns a strange man who came to town one spring right after planting. A few weeks later every strong, healthy man, boy, girl, woman, horse, cow, sheep, and goat from miles and miles around gathered together and followed that strange man away down the road to join the King's service. The only people and livestock left were the very old and very young, who apparently all did just fine. The very young in time became young and pregnant and so forth and so on.
Then one day, all those who had gone away. Far, far away it is said. Well, they returned, about half of them or so anyway. Quite unexpectedly, apparently. From what I know, it was a messy reunion being that no one recognized anyone and it took a lot of excited talking before it could be decided who belonged to who. It took even longer for the realization to set in that the missing would not be returning... ever.
Oh, we had books. Boring things... botany, biology, that sort of thing. But I knew Father and Mother had books they kept hidden. I searched the whole of the farm, even digging holes in likely spots. How they managed to keep them hidden from me I have no idea, after all, I was a brilliant young lad and adults, well you know, they are not as smart as they once were.