"Mama?" The boy looked up at the young woman with his dark red eyes. They were getting ready to go to sleep after having tended to the farm, gathered food, and many other things.

"Yes, Al-Tair?" she asked.

"How come the other boys are so darker than me?"

The woman sighed. Al-Tair, her young son sitting on the sandy floor of their hut, was a halfling. His father, whom she'd always told him died in a hunt, was a white man, from Europe. He was a scary one, too. She could remember his deceptively calm blue eyes, as bright as the daytime sky, with just a hint of a color of flowers in them, and how sometimes, those colors blended together like paint in water. Al-Tair did not have those eyes. He instead had dark red. He was, however, lighter than the other boys, who were un-mixed in their heritage. She could always pick out her son among the herd of dark, fuzzy heads by his wavy, red-brown hair when he played with the other children, and the only one of the small boys of the village paler in skin than him was Masi, an albino who somehow, through wearing of dried-reed hats and deerskin tunics, managed to escape the sunburning that other albinos went through.

Masi's mother was very devoted to her one surviving child. Al-Tair's mother, although haunted by the man with the dried-reed hair and sky-blue eyes loved Al-Tair, too.

"Well, your father, well... he was... light. So you, his son, are also light. But you know what?"

"What, Mama?" Al-Tair asked, looking up, cutely.

"You remember what your name means in the tongue of the white men?" she asked.

"Yeah! I'm Al-Tair, which to white men means 's-soaring-eagle,' right?" he said, grinning.

"That's right. 'Soaring eagle' is a bird who flies way above the others, even the cranes. And 'soaring eagle' also has white and brown feathers- he is very light colored, just like you, little Al-Tair." she said, smiling. With that, the two lay down to sleep. The mother had been kidnapped as a child of about ten, by the man with the sky-blue eyes- Al-Tair's father who, as soon as she grew old enough to resemble an adult, at about fifteen, got her with a child. Then, she'd run away once she heard of why he wanted a female slave to produce halfling children. She was of a different people then this village, but they accepted her all the same, since she'd shown up to several foraging women, five years ago, large with child and not knowing any language but the white man's.

Al-Tair had lived his five years of life so far here instead of as a servant to the blue-eyed man, which she was grateful for.