First, smallpox took three of the village’s strongest. Then came word of raiders. The villagers fled, taking what little they could of the recent harvest. Only old Jacob stayed, too frail to spend the coming winter riding a cart.
When they came, he greeted them with politeness. “Welcome, what is mine is yours.”
Their leader approached him, and laughed. “Yes! Yes, it is!”
Jacob lunged with a knife, but inflicted only a deep scratch.
Yes, he thought, as he died under their swords, what is mine is yours. Everything, even the dirt on my knife, from the smallpox graves.