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          Mitym watched Nehat in awe.  He knew he couldn't pull off a trick like that.  There was no way he had the strength to pull himself up the rope as Nehat had done. 

Mitym sighed.  Sometimes he was glad for his health problems that had brought him to the palace and allowed him to stay.  He had so many wonderful friends at the palace and none at his own home village. 

However, at other times, he wished he were strong and healthy so that he could do what the others could do.  Although it was his choice that kept him at the palace, he also sometimes wished that he could live with his mom and dad as the others did. 

His parents came to see him almost every day, and he was happier here than he had been at home, but still...  When he saw his friends with their parents, it couldn't help making him a little sad and jealous.  However, living at the palace was worth it. 

He didn't remember what it was like when he was little before his parents first took him to the healers for help.  However, when he was 7 his parents and the healers had decided he was well enough to return home. 

It had been awful. 

In the palace, being a giant with dwarfism made him about the same size as everyone else.  Sure his legs were shorter and his body longer, but his overall height was about the same as theirs, so he didn't stand out too much and they had accepted him. 

However, it was a totally different story at his home village.  He was so much smaller than the other children that they didn't want to play with him. 

They would tease him, make fun of him, and play tricks on him.  Giants were usually gentle and kind, and he knew they probably didn't mean to hurt him. 

However, he had cried every day for three months.  He was so lonely and felt so strange being so tiny in a place full of people so big. 

His parents kept thinking it would get better.  However, after three month, his parents had returned with him to the palace.  They went to see Nnalo & Bibma.

After his parents had explained the situation, the elves offered to allow Mitym to stay with them as long as he and his parents desired promising to treat him as they would one of their own sons.  Mitym remembered how excited he had been. 

Nnalo and Bibma had been true to their word.  He was treated like one of their family.   They loved him and took interest in what he did. 

They listened to his eager stories about the happenings of the day.  They encouraged him to pursue his interests.  They expected him to do his best in his studies.  He had daily chores like his elf "siblings".  He was also punished if he did wrong. 

Mitym knew he was very blessed to have two families to love him, and he loved both his families.  Whenever he saw his parents coming, he would run to meet them, and as soon as he was close enough, he would start telling them about everything that was happening.  His parents always smiled to see how happy he was.

Of course, there was the problem of getting sick.  It seemed like he caught every disease that entered the palace. 

When he was younger, he also had frequent headaches and other random pains that the elves said were not caused by sickness.  He had been having fewer of those random pains in the last few years, ever since they started giving him daily doses of temenesa tea. 

He hadn't liked the taste at first, and so if they weren't looking, he would dump it out.  However, he had learned by bitter experience that that was a bad idea. 

Every time he skipped drinking the tea, he would be attacked by those pains even worse than before.  He never poured out that tea anymore. 

It was too bad that the tea couldn't also give him more energy, though.  His muscles were not strong and he got tired very quickly. 

Maybe it was partly because he was so often sick and had to stay in bed.  Or maybe it was because he preferred sitting and reading or writing to the physical exertion that would help his muscles grow stronger. 

Whatever the reason, letting the princess win a race had never been a problem for him.  He couldn't beat her if he wanted to. 

He had not been there the day Princess Atamar had learned about people letting her win.  His parents had taken him home after her birthday celebration. 

However, he had heard all about it from Eticia, and some of the others when he returned...

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