Robin Hobb

“Why’re you like that?” the boy persisted.
“Like what?” Paragon finally asked in annoyance.
“Ya’know. Allus mad. Or crazy fightin’ Say’n stuff ta be mean.”
“How else do you expect me to be?” Paragon retorted. “Joyous that they’ve dragged me out here? All excited to go off on a hare-brained rescue mission with them?”
He felt the boy’s shrug. “Ya could be.”
“I could be?” Paragon snorted. “I’d like to know how.”
“S’easy. Ya decide t’be.”
“You decide to be happy? I should just forget everything that has been done to me, and be happy? Tra-la-la-la? Like that.”
“Ya could.” He heard the boy’s nails against his scalp. “Lookit me. I coulda hated everyone o’ ‘em. I decided t’be happy. Decided ta take what I could get. Make a life outer it.” A pause. “S’not like I’m gonna get another life. Gotta make this’n work.”
“It’s not that simple,” Paragon snapped.
“Could be,” Cliff insisted. “In’t no harder than decidin’t’be mad allus.”
The boy sauntered away slowly. His bare feet scuffed lightly on the deck. “But it’s a lot funner,” he called back over his shoulder.

p. 406: Clef to Paragon”

Robin Hobb, The Mad Ship
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The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders, #2) The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
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