The parade was long and he was almost last in the single file line of men and animals, but Amir walked on. Not that he had any choice in the matter. The last man to complain was chopped up and fed to the bulls. Granted, his death was no great loss, he was almost twenty and about to die from old age anyway. Amir was young and full of energy and super glad they won the day’s war. He was carrying big sacks of booty to present to the noble priests. Hopefully this time his efforts would not go unnoticed. Last time that jerk Rashad confiscated all his booty and gave it to the priests himself, taking all the credit. This time it would be different. Rashad had been maimed during battle and was being treated with hot fish oils and ox fat. Amir smiled to himself. Nothing would stand in his way of success. More than anything Amir wanted to tell his wife Lena they had moved up in the world. Right now they were part of the bottom level working class. Amir’s goal was to get somewhere in the middle level working class. He was very ambitious.
He walked and walked, and pretty soon he could hear the faint strumming of a harp and an angelic voice that could only belong to the long haired man named Elik. He was allowed to grow his hair long because the priests claimed it was what God wanted. Though Amir longed to grow his own head full of silky black locks, he did not envy the singer. Elik had to live his life in celibacy (also due to God’s will). Amir felt his pulse quicken and his heart beat faster. Music meant they were nearing the priests.
The receiver of all war booty was waiting at the entrance to the banquet. Amir handed over his booty sacks and waited nervously for the verdict. If he got a nod, he would be able to enter the feast and collect scraps from the floor. If the receiver merely grunted, he would have to go home empty handed. Luckily he got a nod and was permitted to enter. The feast was grand. Amir was careful not to look any of the priests in the eye, but it was impossible not to notice the giant king at the far end of the hall. He found a spot under the huge banquet table and positioned his war skirt to collect droppings.
The evening was a huge success. Amir gathered a bunch of booty and went home proud. Lena almost cried when she saw Amir carrying a spleenfull of ox blood, her favorite. She and Amir embraced and made sweet love after dinner. Amir hoped tomorrow’s war would go just as well.