Birtist fyrst á /r/zanarchy.

The events I‘m about to describe did not happen in reality as far as I know. The story however is very much true and you should hear it all and not leave before the end as it has many things to tell that can only be appreciated as a whole.

I think this happens in Mongolia of old, but I could be wrong. It doesn‘t matter though, you are free to envision whatever setting you like. The story begins when a boy of some years entered a tavern. He was tired after a whole day of tending his horses and collapsed into his usual seat. His friends greeted him and they shared some inside jokes. The evening didn’t go far before the others noticed that our main-character, Kushi, is quieter than usual.

„Kushi,“ said Bataar, a close friend of Kushis, “What is it?” Kushi sighed and looked down. The others around the table quickly paid their attention to Kushi.

“Well, I’ve been thinking...” Kushi replied after a while and tried to formulate his ponderings of the day into a formal sentence.

“Yeah, and look at what that does to your head!” The guys broke into laughter and Kushi grinned. ,,You’re so funny. No, listen, I want to tell you this, or ask or something,” Kushi straightened up in his hide clad seat and began his story. “Today, as every day as we all do, I was tending to my horses. I walked into the field where I kept them and was preparing to move them to another field, a smaller one; because I thought they were getting to fat. Now I haven’t got that many horses so I thought I’d just drag one of the beasts in and the others would follow. I did so but...” Kushis voice trailed off.

“Wow, what a story!” exclaimed Batukhan, a veteran land-owner who Kushi looked up to. “We should get you a nice little court somewhere.” Kushi shook his head.

“No, no, this isn’t what I wanted to tell you at all! Listen, as I stood out there in the field it struck me: I was alone against a horde of giant beasts, each weighing five times more than I do! And what had I armed myself with? A rusty bridle and two dogs.” The men around him grew dimmer in the flickering taverns light. “Yes, a rusty bridle and two dogs. Against a horde of horses. You get it now, you see how crazy our job is? One horse, a single grown horse, could take me down without much of a problem! I don’t think you want to think about what the rest of pack could do with the body.”

“Nonsense boy,” said Batukhan, “You just jump over the fence is all.” Kushi looked at him and his eyes gleamed in the warm light.

“Yes, the fence. The trusty old fence. Two rows of rotting planks hammered into ancient stakes. That isn’t much against a horse though is it? You’ve all seen it haven’t you? One of the animals wants out and crash! There is a breach. That’s just one horse making a crack, and no fence of ours could take a whole horde in a single charge.” Kushi sensed that he was getting agitated. His breath was shallower and he leaned forward. Still his thoughts circled around his head screaming.

“Then you just get them back in and teach them not to do it again, right?” said Bataar.

“How?” asked Kushi but he knew the answer. He just needed some more time to properly articulate what he trying to say.

“The dogs of course boy!” exclaimed Batukhan again, “You trained them to run your errands so you send them after your stray beast and if it gets near the fence again you tell them to bite is all.” Kushi nodded.

“Yes, the dogs. I’ve got two dogs and for a pack of my size that is one more than enough. But again, the job is crazy. The worst the dog does is bark and bite. And that’s not much against a horse is it? Sure, a pack of hounds could bring down one of them but what if the other beasts came to their comrades’ aid?”

“They won’t,” answered Batukhan, “They fear the dog from the first time he barks at them. And they respect him, because he keeps away the wolves.”

“Right! Respect and fear! However you want that to work you, you...” Kushis voice trailed and Batukhan smiled and sipped his drink. The curious faces around them lost interest and turned away. Kushi shut his eyes and tried to work out a reply. There had to be one, he would not lose now after what had seemed a good roll.

“Okay, no,” he said and carefully chose his words, “You see, I lost a foal this summer to a stray wolf. The dogs were nowhere to be seen and the pack just ran away for the wolf to feast on his prey. That was one foal and I have not had a problem with wolves since. But... but also this summer I lost two horses; one filly and an elderly, injured mare. The dogs got too excited and... yeah.” The guys around the table were silent.

“One to the wolf, two to the dogs,” muttered Bataar.

“Right... right! And I think, like when I stood out there and all this struck me, what is a man against a single horse? And what is a wolf against a pack?” Kushi shook his head.

“But they don’t know that, do they?” asked Batukhan, “The beasts. They just see danger and run away. They need the dogs whatever accidents may occur.”

“But if they knew... if just one would realize that the dogs are there to do my bidding and my bidding protects them only because I need them. If just one would see that a single boy is bossing them around the fields and leading away from the verdant fields because he thinks they’re getting to fat.”

“But some do!” said Bataar, “Some try to kick the dogs and jump the fence.”

“Yes! And what do we-“ Kushis voice was cut off by Batukhans.

“We send them to the trainer.”

“And... and what does the trainer do?” Batukhans face grew stern and he gripped his mug.

“He hits them.” Kushi nodded.

“He hits them because they act on their instinct; freedom.” he said and sighed. The thoughts were silent. They grew silent and sipped their drinks. The atmosphere was heavy and laden with sweat.

“What if,” a careful voice behind Kushi asked, “What if we each went to our fields tomorrow morning, and they knew?” Kushi thought he heard some of them men shudder.

“Nonsense!” Batukhan said angrily. “Animals can’t live without farms.” Kushi and the others looked at him flabbergasted.


“They can’t.” Batukhan exclaimed and brought his mug down on the table like a hammer. “The world just doesn’t work that way.” Kushi did not try to reply. This conversation had put him at great unease and Batukhan was the only one that seemed to make any sense. So they sat there on their horsehides, drank their mares-milk and dined on the meat.

Because that’s how the world works.