A Christmas truce by Nikki Kimbell

It was pitch black in the trenches. I looked up but there was not a single star in the sky. I could feel the flakes of snow falling on my bitterly cold hands. Unusually, I could not hear anything: The guns had stopped firing. From behind me, I could smell stale food. It certainly wasn’t like my Grandma’s homemade sausage. This was not the best way to spend Christmas Eve. I thought about my mum back in Germany but I had not heard anything from her for the past month. I hoped she was okay. As I thought that, I felt lonely...

The loneliness cut like the bayonet I carried, bearing down on me heavily.

Moments later, we heard voices singing with soft voices from the other side of no-man’s-land.

On the edge of the bunker, I saw a lonely Robin. He silently gazed back, before fluttering gently over the edge and out of sight. With trepidation, I climbed out the trench and shakily raised my hands. Slowly, I began to walk. All around me I could hear indistinguishable shouts in a foreign tongue. I closed my eyes. Upon opening them I saw an awe-inspiring sight; The Germans walked towards me. We met.

"Merry Christmas,” he whispered whimsically.

I looked into his eyes. He seemed as sad as me so I decided to do something. Back in Germany, when I was a child, we went to Church and joyfully sang Christmas carols on Christmas Eve.

“Stille Nacht. Heil'ge Nacht,” I began to sing.

“Alles schläft; einsam wacht,” my friends joined in.

Moments later, we heard voices singing softly from the other side of no-man’s-land.

“All is calm, all is bright,” was being sung from the English trenches.

Together, across the battleground, we all sang on Christmas night. For a few minutes, in the trenches of France, I started forgetting about the war and instead began thinking happily about Christmas


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