It was a great honor to get chosen. Usually they won't take you until your are at least ten, but my tests were off the charts already. Of course I was so young that I didn't understand why I wasn't going to be able to see my mother ever again. I cried for days.
Actually, I probably cried for the first year. I got really good at being able to hide it, because the Fylakas would whip you for it. Just one of many things that could earn the switch.
Years later when I was much older I started to realize why they were so hard on us.
I started to understand a lot as I got older, which wasn't what they wanted at all. They wanted us to be pleasant, agreeable little dolls who would thank them every time they drained our very lives away so that others might thrive. They did it to my family through punishing labor and to those like me very literally.
Some people are Givers and some are Takers. There are fancy names for us, but to a child that was what made the best sense and it just stuck. Most people are neither, just regular old folk with nothing special about them unless they happen to be smart or skilled.
Takers are almost as common as regular folk. They grow big and strong and fast. They make good soldiers. Problem is they need more resources than others. Lots of food and water. Though they don't sleep much. They often don't live for very long, especially in poor families.
What I am is a Giver. I can survive on less than others if I need to. We tend not to live very long either, though, because what makes us so hardy is also what makes us so desirable.
You see, our blood can heal almost any wound, cure any disease, and even prolong one's life. Our problem is we are very, very rare. One would think this would grant us a rather comfortable position in life.
Keep your people ignorant, keep them in check.