One annoying thing after another happened a few days ago and I have only just now found the time to get it down in my journal.
It all started on the first of this month when I awoke as usual from another uncomfortable night's sleep.
As I rolled over I discovered what looked like a rather large rodent beside my face. I did as most do. I jumped up quickly and aimed a kick at it to scare it away, only it didn't blink. In fact it didn't even move. I looked closer at it and realized that it was a only a wad of fabric.
I heard a snicker from one of the sleeping bags and frowned. There was nothing funny about this whole thing. I hated mice and rats, which is ironic because I was in the Rat Patrol.
"Which one of you did this?" I asked, glaring at them. They knew that I hated those animals. "Well?"
Hitch gave me a guilty look from his sleeping bag. My eyes narrowed and I tossed that thing at him angrily.
Luckily for him, Tully called us over for breakfast and after eating I was in a better mood.
Troy called us to a halt at mid-day so we could check our maps.
"The camp should be around here somewhere, but I don't see it" I muttered.
Troy looked over my map and then back at his. "Well no wonder, you are reading it upside down" he commented and flipped it over.
"But Troy that doesn't make sense. Look at our compass and then check it against my map" I argued, pointing at them.
He rolled his eyes and pointed to the top corner of my map that showed a compass. "That letter there is an S. It stands for South, Moffitt. You are reading it upside down!"
I blinked and stared at it for a moment. "It wasn't like that last night when I put it away..." I trailed off.
I heard chuckle from under the hood of my jeep and snapped around to look at the culprit.
"Tully, where you the one who did that?" I asked, trying not to get mad. He gave me one of his rare grins.
"We, we could have gotten lost" I spluttered.
"No we wouldn't have, Sarge. Before we left I got an extra map and did some minor changes. I switched it out on you during our last stop. The only way we could have was if you weren't paying attention."
"Let's shake it" Troy interrupted. I climbed into the back and we started off again.
Troy made dinner that night and I was grateful because I didn't think that the privates had gotten all of their crazy antics out of their systems yet.
For dessert he gave us each a bowl of red stuff that didn't look very appetizing. I tried it anyway and so did the others.
About half way through our treat, which was actually very tasty, Troy got up to leave. He was the first one on guard duty that night.
"What is this stuff?" I asked curiously.
Troy turned back to me and said "Lungs"
Tully choked, Hitch looked at him wide eyed, and I felt the blood drain from my face.
"Wwwwhat!" Hitch exclaimed, regaining his voice.
"You heard me. It's called lungs" Troy repeated with a twinkle in his eye.
"We just ate..." Tully said slowly, looking down at his bowl. I thought he was going to be sick.
"Please tell me you aren't serious" I almost begged, feeling a bit queasy myself.
There was silence for a moment and then Troy laughed. Tears formed in his eyes from laughing so hard.
The rest of us looked at each other in bewilderment. Our Sergeant had gone crackers.
"It is only chopped up strawberry jello with some mashed berries in it" he explained once he had calmed down. "It's a tradition at my house on April Fools Day. My mom sent me a package awhile back so I could make it for you guys. For some reason it got named lungs."
"What the devil is April Fools Day?" I demanded. I was getting sick of all of these jokes today.
They looked at me in an odd way. "I thought one of you told him what it was" Troy said to the privates.
"I thought you did" Tully responded. Hitch nodded in agreement.
"The first day in April is called April Fools Day and we prank each other" Troy explained to me.
"Are you all completely finished?" I asked. They nodded and I headed off to get some sleep. I have heard about Fooles holy day, which is very similar, but I never participated in it.
I don't think I will ever get used to pitching my bed roll on the sand and expecting to actually get any rest on it. Especially now that I know what my American Counterparts do on the first of April. I hope they don't have any other holidays like this one that they celebrate and haven't told me about.
~Sergeant Jack Moffitt, North Africa