by Dan Keding
This story is about the meaninglessness of war and the commonality of all people. It also is about how two people can come to terms with each other and learn to accept their differences.
For a print friendly version of the transcript, click here: The-Two-Warriors
- Why do you think the two warriors started to talk?
- What did they learn about each other as they talked?
- Why couldn’t they continue fighting the next day?
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Taking a Stand and Peacemaking
Hi, I’m Dan Keding. I’m going to tell you a story I wrote called The Two Warriors.
Once, a long time ago, there was a war and during this war, there was a great battle. Two armies came together. They fought from the time the sun rose in the east until the sun died in the West. And at the end of the battle, there were only two warriors left. Two enemies. They were covered in the blood and gore of war. And they were so tired, they could barely lift their swords to strike at each other ’til one man raised his shield and said, “Wait! It will do us no honor to keep fighting like this. I say we sleep here in the battleground. And tomorrow, when the sun is reborn in the sky, we’ll finish this. And only one of us will go home.”
And the other man agreed. And so, they sheathed their great swords, took off their dented helmets, unstrapped their shields and they lay down among their dead comrades. But they were so weary, the weariness that comes with too much death, that they couldn’t sleep. And, finally, one man said, “Back in my village, I have a son who plays the wooden sword. When he grows up, he wants to be like me.” He was quiet for a moment.
And the other man said, “I have a daughter, and at night, when I kiss her good night and I look in her eyes, I see the youth of my wife.”
And the two men started to tell stories… back and forth, stories of their families, their villages, their people. The stories they learned as children at their grandparents’ knees. And, finally, they looked up and the sun was rising. And the two warriors stood and they put on their helmets, strapped on their shields, and they took those swords now dyed brown with the dried blood of yesterday’s slaughter.
And these two men stared at each other. And without hesitation, both men sheathed their swords, turned their backs on each other, and they both walked home. My grandmother always told me, “You can never hate someone once you’ve heard their story.”