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He looked at me searchingly and said, “Perhaps, my friend. But we must also ask our hearts.” And so, dear sister, tell me, has there ever been such a Christmas Eve in all history? What does it all mean, this impossible befriending of enemies?

For the fighting here, of course, it means regrettably little. Decent fellows those soldiers may be, but they follow orders and we do the same. Besides, we are here to stop their army and send it home, and never could we shirk that duty.

Still, one cannot help but imagine what would happen if the spirit shown here were caught by the nations of the world. Disputes may arise but what if our leaders were to offer good wishes in place of warnings; songs in place of insults; gifts in place of reprisals? Would not all wars end at once?

All nations say they want peace. Yet on this Christmas morning, I wonder if we want it quite enough.

                                                                                                                       Your loving brother,
After hearing the response of the British soldier, the old man looked at him with a puzzled expression and said, “we must ask our hearts.” The old man might have said that everyone needs freedom. No one had the desire to fight on the border and lose their life. They were struggling in the borders to save the people’s life. While writing everything in the letter, he asked his sister whether she had heard about such Christmas Eve anywhere in history. He questioned her what does this unthinkable friendship of enemies imply?
After asking questions to his sister, the British soldier said that fighting with the opponents and losing life was a regrettable one. Those troops may be good people, but they obey orders, just as the British soldiers do. Then he said their duty was to stop the Germans army and send that home, and we couldn’t ignore that responsibility.
Then the British soldier said that one couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if the harmony and unity happened in that night were to be caught by the world’s nations. After telling that, he said that as a result of it, disagreements might arise. Then he questioned if their leaders offered pleasant wishes instead of warnings, songs instead of insults, and presents instead of retaliation? Then he says that if such things occur in the world wouldn’t all wars cease at the same time?
At last, the British soldier said that every nation says that they need peace. Also, he said that that Christmas, he hoped that he, too, needed peace.
Meanings of the difficult words:
EnemyA person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something
Befriend Act as or become a friend to someone, especially when they are in need of help or support
Dispute A disagreement or argument
To feel sorry about a situation, especially something sad or wrong or a mistake that you have made
Shirk Avoid or neglect a duty or responsibility
ReprisalAn activity against another person, especially as a punishment by military forces or a political group
InsultAn offensive remark or action
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2018). Term-1 English Standard-9. The Christmas Truce- Aaron Shepard (pp. 126-131). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.