MY BROTHERS

JOSEPH

My oldest brother,  Joseph, is a lot like Papa. Tall, fair hair, quiet, the total opposite of Willie. Joseph is 18. He is peace-loving, hates violence. He only joined the army to watch over Willie, the impetuous brother. I cannot see Joseph harming anyone.

Joseph is an artist. He can look at an object and draw it precisely. Nat will have him sketch the plans for Nat’s air machine. When this war is over. And someday, they may fly to the stars. When my brothers put their heads together, anything is possible.

Sometimes, though, I wish for a sister, someone to talk with, to share my secrets with. My brothers have each other. I have Mama, of course, and Aunt Lois, but some things you simply do not discuss with parents and other older people. Some things only a girl my age would understand.

I love my brothers and pray for the safe return of Willie and Joseph.

WILLIE

My brother Willie is away in Virginia, fighting to end this war. I miss him terribly. Willie is the mischievous one in the family, always in trouble of some kind. He’s 16 and daring and brave and sometimes foolhardy (Mama’s words). He’s gentle too, and kind. I love him. We have a favorite tree in our yard that we climb and sit there, among the branches, talking, teasing each other.

I pray God will bring him safely home. And that we’ll have peace again. Is that too much to ask?

NATHAN

Nat is my younger brother. He’s 14 and very smart. He lives in a world of his own. At least he did before the Federal army invaded our city. His hands carve beautiful works of art out of wood. Our story mentions some of them. Not only is he artistic, but he knows everything about the heavens. He plans to build a flying machine some day and go to the moon. Imagine that. But knowing Nat, it’s very likely he will.

Nat is a gentle soul. The war confuses him. He doesn’t understand why men kill each other. Neither do I. The war does terrible things to Nat. He sees things he should not see. But he is brave and faces them. He tries to help me too, though we often disagree.

Now you know a little about Nat. My book will tell you much more.

 

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