Without the birds I dare not think how I should have gone through the War at all. One friend, after reading my manuscript, asked if I could not include 'more horrors', even at the expense of some of the birds, but I told him that in any case I could remember not more 'horrors', though of birds I remembered so much. The mangled corpse is forgotten, but the warbler with the nest and eggs is remembered. I think the reason for this is largely that, at the time, the 'horrors' were so beastly, so ugly, that one got into the habit of putting them aside by concentrating on the birds, so that now, after many years, the memory retains the birds and to large extent has got rid of the rest.
Philip Gosse, in 'A Naturalist Goes to War'
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