He kept coming back That was his only skill Respect is not something you can possibly be born with. The children of kings and lords should know this but most don't Though this kid who kept coming back he was no one's son A vagabond His body bony in all places no meat under the skin A skin that had all the colors from pale to yellow to blue to crimson to pitch black dirty scarred sore and something that looked like bone peeking out of tissue He got beat up every time he came to the fighting pit behind the tavern Never won a fight against those well-fed, bulky sons of farmers and blacksmiths and butchers with puffy arms and wide napes They fought mostly for respect and the money was a side prize But the bony boy came only for the money and he never got any But he never begged in the marketplace either The bony boy had a pride about him a pride that never left until the day he could no longer stand in the fighting pit after that fatal blow It wasn't even that much of a strong hit but his neck was so weak it snapped And they gathered in a circle around him mute and stared stared until their backs felt brushed, shoved to the side by a pair of hands weaker even than the bony boy's Softer "That's his little sister," someone said as they all moved aside and let her reach the bony boy, crying "So it's her that he fought for all this time." "Yes." "And he kept coming back every time." "Yes." "Insane." "Wah, respect for the little guy." "You know what, boys, I think we should do it. Give the little girl the prize money." "Yeah." "Though this ain't no fantasy land and no poem. So, no poem, no poetic justice. We'll give the girl the prize money alright, but she'll have to earn it. Hopefully doing a better job than her brother." "Yeah, girl, just like your brother, come back every time you need money. Unlike him you'll get it. You really will." "Right, now off with those rags and let your fight begin. I'll go first."