I've started a new exercise where, every morning, I take the Merriam-Webster Word Of The Day and use it to inspire a one page scene. My goal is to try and pack as much of a story into a single page as possible; let's see how I do, eh?
Mentor: "A trusted counselor or guide."
To be fair, the cock-fighting was a pretty good metaphor of learning to be quick on your feet when life throws unexpected obstacles at you. The "unexpected obstacle" in this case being "a really pissed-off rooster."