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Muggins

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Yeah, I'm still here. What's it to you?

Yeah, yeah, I've heard it, I've heard all that fuckin rot about the River States. I've heard all about their fuckin endless fields an' plentiful brown mud an' worms all day as far as the eye can blimmin see. I've 'eard all about the fuckin bucolic bliss of starin' into the fuckin sunset an' toilin in the fields an' seein what y'can grow. An' all dat shit about knowin' your place, too, I've 'eard that fuckin line; I've 'eard some prize wankers rhapsodise about how they never knew bliss till they'd kowtowed to some fuckin Swan an felt so fuckin looked after, so fuckin loved, so fuckin wanted.

Well, fuck that.

I'm a city bird. I'm a city bird. Always have been, always will be. When yeh bring yer peasents into yer city, they bring their fuckin livestock. An they find out right quick they can't keep their fuckin pigs and their fuckin goats because there's nothing to fuckin eat and no space to tie 'em up and have you ever tried gettin a fuckin hog up the stairs? But yeh can carry a chicken an' stick it inna cage and it'll eat whatever you fuckin give it, not nose out and get yeh clothes like them stupid fuckin mammals.

An a chicken is fuckin useful, right?

First up, there's eggs. Yeh stick in all the sweepins that yeh too proud to eat y'self, and we turn 'em into gold. Not the kinda gold yeh keep in banks an' shit, yeh stupid mockinbird, stop lookin at me arse like dat. The best kinda gold; the kinda golden yellow sunshine gold yeh can eat, that'll keep yeh kids shiny an' happy, that'll pay for all the times we bite yeh 'cos yeh's still a bastard feh keepin us in yeh stupid hovel and feedin us dust an stones...

But the eggs ain't the best part. Forget the goddamn Doves, forget dem White Hand prissy stuck-up bastards. Yeh chicken - yeh humble narrator - that's the real sacrement. Y'see, when a family's real desperate - when they're eatin the scraps and yeh beginning to look kinda scrawny cos there just ain't nothin left - they look up and they go, maybe it's time. An they don't wanna, because dat chicken's all they've got, an they remember the eggs though yeh've been too weak to lay 'em for a while now... but they finally decide, they can't bear to see the kids like this any more, they're so goddamn hungry, maybe they can get another chicken when the business comes through or the siege lifts or they sell one of the kids, in that magical fuckin future they make for themselves in their head.

Then the sacrement happens. They ain't eaten meat for so long, they ain't maybe never, they got a distant memory of it at best. An' it's not even like you're the best meat, but gods you are the richest fuckin thing they've ever tasted at that moment, just for one moment they forget all the fear an' the misery, an' there's bones and stock for the next week...

So fuck your settlements full of fat healthy farmers, yeh clean air and yeh endless vistas.

Give me one scrawny kid who's never had a decent meal in his life before.

That's bliss.