Mostly though, what the other boys called him -- what everyone in the village called him -- was Parish Fool. Cause his mum didn't have no money to dress him in aught but a suit of rags, stitched up from scraps of handmedowns and castoffs what had been worn to nothing and chucked away. A right motley it was, in every sodding shade under the sun. Every shade what's been faded and filthed to a shade of dirt and dust, that is. So they calls him the Parish Fool for it, shouts, Where's yer bells? and, Tell us a joke! Fucking cunts.•But we don't call him Poor Dear or Parish Fool, us Scruffians. Don't call him none of those names the groanhuffs use in their stories about him neither. Cause what do groanhuffs know? All's they've done is heard our tales and passed em along in a game of Chinese Whispers, getting em all mixed up, like. Peer-a-Door and Pierce-a- Veil, they calls him! Dozy twats. Still, we gots to call him summat. Hero needs a name, don't he? So we Scruffians calls him Jack, cause that were a word for any Scruffian-to-be in those days.
If you wish to read what I have been reading (and you should) go here and here. I am a big fan of Hal Duncan's work in general, but now that he's playing around with playground games and children's rhymes (as well as myth and politics and storytelling and the like) I think my head is likely to explode with the happy. I wanted to quote massive chunks of "Jack Scallywag", because it's really good, but I don't want to give too much away. I hope you'll buy it, though, (it is entirely in my interest that writers I like not starve) and I really hope there will be more of these Scruffians stories.
And once you've gone over and read those (and you will, won't you?) maybe you should read Vellum and Ink and Escape from Hell! (the last of which really needs to be moviefied). And then this series, and perhaps this. It's all worth it.