By Rights

When they were handing out the prizes, a man, despite not having won a single event, decided he deserved one. Smiling, he insinuated himself into the pack of winners and adopted an air of merit. One after another, the victors were called up to the podium, cheered, and awarded their trophies. Before long, only two men remained. The master of ceremonies, realising something was untoward, frowned and blustered and leant away from the microphone to consult a colleague. The colleague consulted an underling, and the underling dealt sharp but whispered words to a minion. Looking sheepish, the minion approached the two men.

‘There is only one prize left. One of you is an impostor.’

The men regarded each other and tensed. They squared up. Gripping each other by the shoulders, they pushed and pulled and turned in circles, straining, grimacing, yelling. Such a cloud of dust was raised that the onlookers could no longer see them.

At long last the victor stepped from the confusion, dusted himself down, and ascended to claim his prize. The crowd went wild, and the loser, bloodied and shamed, was carried off and thrown into the river.

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