Un día, Canutito and Filimotas were playing at being soldãos in the Army. Where they were, cerca de la acequia, marchaban up and down como real soldiers diciendo cosas como “left, left, right, left, right,” y “forward, march!” The boys were wearing jumates en la cabeza like helmets. (They had taken the saucepans del trastero de Grama Cuca en la cocina to put on their heads). They also carried escobas on their shoulders, using the brooms as rifles en la guerra.

Marcharon toda la mañana, jugando a los soldãos. At length they sat down by the edge de la acequia to drink some water. Mientras que estaba sentãos en la orilla de la acequia, Canutito looked over at Filimotas and asked him, “Oye Fil, ¿estaba tu dad en el Army? I mean, estuvo en el servicio militar?”

“Yes, he was,” Filimotas answered him. “Mi dad hasta luchó en la Guerra de Korea. Él quería servir en el Army toda su vida, but he got wounded en una pierna y todavía he walks around con un limp, todo cojo. Pero before que lo lastimaran, he was quite the runner también.”

“Yo no puedo hacer imagine a tu dad en el ejército, Filimotas,” Canutito said. “Ahora he walks todo despacio. The only thing que lo hace look like a soldier es que he wears su cabello bien cortito, like a crew cut.”

“There’s a reason por qué usa su cabello tan cortito,” Filimotas said. “Antes de irse al Army, his hair used to be quite a bit longer. Lo usaba largo, almost down to his shoulders a veces, pero cuando fue a boot camp, todo eso cambió.”

“Why did he change el estilo de su cabello if he used to like wearing it long, Filimotas?” Canutito asked him con curiosidad.

Es porque cuando estaba en boot camp, allá en Fort Bliss, los Army sergeants used to make the soldiers run por una milla completa while balancing los colchones de sus camas on top of their heads. Tenían que hacerlo todos los días.”

“Really, Filimotas?” Canutito asked. ¿De veras tenían los soldãos que correr for a full mile mientras que balanceaban the mattresses from their beds arriba de la cabeza? And you say, they did that every day? That would be muy duro.”

“They did that todos los días, pero al fin un día they just stopped doing it.”

“Pero por qué dejaron de hacer eso con los colchones,” Canutito asked Filimotas.

“It’s because los sargentos found out que todos los colchones were infested con piojos y los piojos were getting into everyone’s hair.”

“Oh, gross!” Canutito exclaimed, scratching su cabeza. “So you are telling me que los soldãos all got lice de los mattresses que acarreaban en la cabeza?”

“And ever since that time,” Filimotas went on, “mi dad ha usado su cabello real short para no agarrar piojos from anywhere.”

Mi dad me dijo que los piojos were so bad que a veces en la noche he would have to scratch su cabeza and then get up and rub some aceite de la lámpara en ella.”

“I wouldn’t want to get up at night to rub lamp oil en la cabeza,” said Canutito.

Canutito scratched su cabello especially detrás de la orejas and he said, “Filimotas, I don’t think que quiero jugar at being soldiers any more. I think que even make believe piojos are still piojos and I’m getting comenzón just thinking about them. …”

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