To Those Who Taketh On The Raiment Known as Khaki
by Stanley Scislowski
Perth Regt, 5th CDN ARMD DIV, 1943-1945
o, all ye miserable sinners and low born, as ye enter through the portals of the enlistment centres into the land of dubious promise, harken unto my words for I have long dwelt in this land, and mine eyes have seen all manner of woeful things and folly.
erily have I tasted of the bitter fruit of discontent that are Part I Orders, and have drained the very dregs of the cup of the Daily Syllabus.
irdeth up thy loins O my son, and take up the cudgel which is thy rifle, for ye shall make thyself amongst the most high. But, before thou doest so, harken not to the counsel of the lowly Lance-jack for he is cursed with faulty judgment and will only lead thee down the paths of wickedness and despair.
ewarest thou the craven officer bearing the one pip for he will look into thine eyes with stony countenance and will seek to frighten thee with dark threats and fierce expressions. Yea, he doth but concealeth a serpent within his heart and venom issueth forth from his lips. Avoideth him as thou would'st avoideth the plague, for he will strive mightily to break thy spirit and forsooth bringeth the tears to now like rushing mountain springs.
ewarest thou also the offer of employment, for ye shall know then the ungodly wrath of the mess-Sergeant, and thy heart shall tremble and thy mind shall reeleth at the great mountain of soiled dishes set before thee.
s there is a time to speak and a time to be silent, pay heed to the wiseness of the latter, for thy word will but be scorned and spat upon. Thy silence will be many times blessed when the clarion call for volunteers is sounded. Thou shalt learn henceforth that a still tongue is a wise tongue.
ain not be impressed by the former friend who shall receiveth with great pomp and circumstance the single chevron, for it is as nothing. Thou shalt behold how thy former friend will strut about with much posturing like a vainglorious rooster amongst his flock. He will looketh to thee for words of praise and worshipful admiration, but yet he will looketh upon thee only as but an insect that crawleth upon the ground.
ooketh upon the Quartermaster as a man of great and boundless wealth. By dedicated wile and perseverance he has amassed his wealth. And if thou would'st make thine own life easy and free of want, go seeketh his favour and ye shall be rewarded.
bideth ye by what I sayeth now; the Quartermaster careth not for the honeyed word or adoring phrases, but that his delight and fancy for the drink that cheers should guide thee in what thou should'st showereth upon him in gifts so that he might grant thee a smile and favour thee with much merchandise.
ewareth thou the scoundrel who seeketh to gain seconds and even thirds in the mess queue, for he is a threat unto thy well-being and thy stomach would'st soon know the pangs of hunger. Revile him in ringing word and profane thought for he is thrice cursed. Cast him from the queue as thou would'st cast vermin from thy clothing.
noweth the big-spender, for he is not to be trusted. He will grovel and cling to thee in false friendship and he will deplete thy wallet and thy pay book in endless borrowings, and he knoweth and useth with great imagination all manner of subterfuge in avoidance of repayment.
nd as final words of this epistle, thou would'st do well to remove thyself from the malevolent eyes of the RSM for he loveth with undue passion and delight to cheweth the posteriors of lowly Privates like thyself. If thou should‘st fail to harken unto my warning, his rage shall fall upon thee and ye shall find solace only after many visits to the Padre, and thy heart will be as the weight of a great stone and thy spirit shall be sorely tried.
ere Endeth The Lesson.

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