In the book things they carried
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The killing of the baby water buffalo is horrific, but it doesn't measure up to the trauma and the experiences of war. Killing the water buffalo seems like nothing........... especially when you consider the loss of human lives, and yet, the killing of the buffalo stays with us as a senseless act. The men's friend and fellow soldier Curt has just been killed; the company finds the baby and they bring it back to camp........... one minute, Rat is attempting to feed him, and the next he's unloading his gun into the helpless animal. The men are shocked; they're amazed. In essence, their feelings are served up quite well by Mitchell who says, "Well, that's Nam. Garden of Evil. Over here, man, every sin's fresh and original."
The Things They Carried/ Chapter 7