The Boy with No Birthday – Study Guide – caitlinrrrrrr
The Boy with No Birthday
The Boy with No Birthday. Caitlin Rooney, 3F.As I march through the broken streets of Uganda with an AK-47 in my hand the stench of gas and blood controls my senses, my train of thought always stops to a standstill as I think about other children – like me – who are enjoying their birthday on this very day; butterflies in their belly as they blow out the candles on their favourite flavour of cake, ripping away the paper of all the colours in the rainbow to display the array of gifts given to them by their Mama, their Papa, their brothers and their sisters. Sometimes these fantasies give me hope, hope that one day I will no longer take the lives of these people who have never committed an act of harm towards me but this hope always seems to crash and die a painful death because this fantasy of mine can never be real. I will never feel whole with my eyes wide open as I march with the other soldiers while we rob men, women and children of their lives because I am the boy with no birthday. I do not remember much from when my life was good. My only solid memory was my sixth birthday, although I was only young at the time this memory still has the power to send shivers down my spine due to how graphic the details are. I was awakened by my older brother tickling me. I couldn’t stop laughing. My Mama had collected fruit from all around the village for my breakfast. The fruit took up all of the space on the table! They tasted like heaven. We devoured the feast of fruit, then Mama told me to close my eyes and she took me out to the village centre. When, I opened my eyes all around me were; my family, friends and people from all around the village. The best thing was that they all came to celebrate my birthday! We spent the rest of the day dancing, singing and laughing. The only complication was the soldiers.
Mama ran as fast as she could holding me with one arm and clinging to my brother’s hand with the other but the soldiers ran faster, as if they were lions catching their prey. Mama fell to the ground with me in her arms and a bullet in her head. A soldier ripped me and my brother from Mama and took us to the truck where more of the village children were being taken to. My brother screamed and struggled to be released and for Mama but the soldier did not even look him in the eyes, we were nothing but future killing machines to them. We were thrown into the truck, but my brother seized the opportunity and took a leap of faith out – what he did not know was that this leap would be his last. This day is why I am the boy with no birthday.The older soldiers that took us in to this bad place tried to convince us that our parents were killed because they were traitors to the country and we were moulding Uganda into a better place. This forged some of the children to become soldiers. As much as these men can try and alter my memories and persuade me to think I am doing good, I can never forget being held in Mama’s cold dead hands when the commander of my section decided to snatch her existence from me.Today, I am back at my village. Although it isn’t the same because this time, I am with the soldiers. Mama is not here, my brother is not here. Nobody recognizes me and I am glad of that. There is no birthday today but there are children. This village is not the place I remember it to be. The place I remember was colourful, everyone always had a smile on their face but the place I am standing in right now is dull, dark, the life is drained from everyone’s eyes as they stand shivering with intense fear. I cannot recognize this place to be the village where me and the others had danced until the sun went down.
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(2015, 11). The Boy with No Birthday. EssaysForStudent.com. Retrieved 11, 2015, from