He was Half.
Half an arm,
Half a leg,
Half the size a boy his age should be.
He couldn't dig,
He wouldn't beg.
Half, half starved,
Ate dried up nicky-naws from the hawthorn tree,
Eked half a living warding infants from the well,
And bore with bitter eyes the callous herd boys glee.
All the boys,
All the men,
More than half the women worked the field.
Tots with toys,
One old man with sickle wound unhealed,
Were the only people left behind with Half.
When the dragon came they had no shield.
Round the doors that had been so swiftly shut.
Half couldn't run,
Half? Half stood,
Seeing babies not fleet enough of foot.
Half, Half screamed, Half howled, to gain them the time.
In his stump of arm he made a cut.
Smell of blood,
There Half stood.
Dragon opened his jaws to devour.
Half kicked out leg,
Teeth crunched on wood.
The leg of Half was dry, hard and sour.
Then Half thrust a hawthorn branch between the teeth,
Waved stump to cast a bloody shower.
Half an arm.
People taste of thorns and bitter sap.
Dragon took flight,
And safe from harm,
Children ran to climb on Half's half lap.
Any warrior, whatever village or clan,
Yearns to be as much as Half the man.