But not everyone fights a war with blade or bullet. Some were fighting their own shadow war of secret letters, false names, fake passes and perilous bluffs. I became fascinated by the spies - cunning, bold, ingenious and quite often female.
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with stuffed animals. I had 40 or 50 of them, enough to sag a bookshelf. They didn’t quite have distinct personalities, but in my mind Mrs. Lion, Mr. Hawk, and Princess Panther were brimming with life.
I’d take it all in, digesting these words, this language, these codes and sounds sloshing around in my head, mixing with the language of my older brother and what I’d hear him saying outside with his friends, also a language all their own.