Buffalo King

Based on a traditional folktale
Retold by Simon N.
The ruler of Pearl Kingdom loved to raise water buffalo. He owned a herd of several thousands. He dressed his water buffalo in silk and fed them the finest grass. For every two buffalo, a trainer was hired to tend to their needs. The trainers earned a top salary and received special privileges. Consequently, specialists from even distant kingdoms and faraway places came to Pearl to apply to become buffalo trainers. Farmers abandoned their lands; scholars left their studies; hunters left the forest to attend buffalo training schools. Competition for these jobs was so fierce that there were deadly clashes on the streets of Pearl. 

The king took his buffalo with him every time he went out. The spoiled pets blocked traffic, flattened farmlands and damaged homes. Their trainers stood idly aside, not wanting to incur the king's wrath. The people were angry but dared not to complain. 

When the king's enemies learned of social disturbances in Pearl, they sent their armies to attack. Pearl's soldiers, many of whom were currently enrolled in buffalo training schools, were outmatched and defeated by their organized foes. The king was forced to flee with his entourage of buffalo. Unfortunately, his buffalo had gotten too heavy and were slow to move. The enemies were able to catch up to the king. His buffalo trainers quickly abandoned him and he was brutally murdered. 

His buffalo were slaughtered and their meats were divided among the people.

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