For him, strength is all about the control a person can hold over objects, animals, and people. So he spins riddles and poetry about lions, donkeys, and bees, not just for his own entertainment, but also to watch the power his words hold over another’s thoughts and feelings.
He can see the frustration on their faces now as they give whispered glances to each other, as if in conflict between whether to stick out their resolve to solve the puzzle on their own or swallow their pride and confer with one another about the possible answers.
He’s noticed that they always eventually swallow their pride. Safety in numbers against solitary him, and his chest swells.
It’s when all they can think about and talk about is his riddle, when he sees they’ve lost more than a little sleep that marks the area underneath their eyes and the madness that threatens to boil over – that’s when he knows he’s strong, truly strong, because it’s one thing to inflict superficial damage, but when his opponents allow a few simple verses to crawl underneath their skins, he affects them on a different level.
It’s the simple law of Cause and Effect, and he becomes the cause. He becomes strength, because only the strong can provoke beginnings and turn them into motion.