That’s it, I’ve had enough of this moldy codpiece of a life. My lord can find some other indentured serf to wait on his tables, tend to his livestock, and be strapped to a pole for hours on end for jousting, swordplay, and pillaging practice. I quit!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve served my liege twenty-three hours a day, seven days a week. In my spare time, I work relentlessly on my side-hustle passion project. It’s what sparks my joy. And I’ve decided that whatever doesn’t bring me immediate joy can be discarded. So I’m breaking free from my metaphorical and physical shackles. I’ll be even happier than Robin when he steals a new hoodie.

My passion is niche, but important. I enable some of the most advanced medical procedures known to witch doctors. I source blood-letting leeches through an ethical and sustainable supply chain.

My father, Dante of the Dungheap, thinks my decision is rash. But the only thing that’s rash is his inflamed and festy groin. I’ve told him my leeches could fix that up nicely. But he doesn’t want to listen. He says I’m arrogant and shouldn’t think I’m above living in the Dungheap with my twenty-nine brothers and sisters.

Dad insists I’m too young to try something for myself. He thinks I should settle for being a serf for a reputable master with good job security and prospects. But the way he and Mum did things isn’t how the world works anymore.

I know that I’m young—I’m only seven—but I already have four years of work experience. That’s more than double my life, and I’m well on the way to half my life expectancy.

Besides, I know heaps of six-year-olds who have made their side hustle into their main hustle. For example, Beatrice of the Brambles has seed funding from her lord for building a process that recycles bloody, rusted, and discarded chain mail into reusable drinking vessels. Or Mirabel of the Moat, who runs a startup where serfs with mules deliver bread and mead to lords and ladies on demand. We didn’t choose the entrepreneurial life; it chose us.

I’m pretty sure my lord, Sir Sigbald, will take the news well. He is, after all, a crusader that believes in only doing work that adds value to the kingdom. He’s a Knight of the Kid’s table. He attends the Roundtable meetings and babysits the other Knight’s kids. He tells anyone that will listen it’s a critical role that keeps the kingdom running, the infidels in check, and the shareholders happy.

But I’m not buying into his vision any longer. I know now is the right time to quit. Sir Sigbald recently took all the serfs away on something he calls an “offsite” to discuss the new year’s house and land-keeping strategy. For over an hour, he forced us to compete to build the highest tower out of straw, chicken guts, and our own bodily fluids. We don’t need team-building exercises; we need something to believe in.

Anyway, wish me luck as I tell Sir Sigbald my exciting news. The last serf who tried to leave a life of servitude was banished to the neighboring kingdom by catapult. But if that’s the price to pay for pursuing my passion, then I’ll gladly take it.