The streak by then had reached seven, and nearly three weeks remained for the giant to swat more pearls. The final one was expected to be worth another million. What happened next, you ask? Maybe the people just kept returning the spheres to him, maybe not—after the Largest Pearl, even I stopped counting. All I recall is that a few days later, when the other warrior hit his 61st and 62nd, they went clean out of the park and neither was returned immediately. The man who gathered number 61 on the avenue behind the stadium held on to it to consider his options, while number 62 set off a ferocious street scrum in which one man lost the ball to another after his hand was bitten—and thank god for these people, thank god. For I am thick-skinned and fool enough to tell a fable...but certainly not a fairy tale.