When the Emperor dies, the Cow Mother's golden enclosure loses its safety, and the pasture her daughters depend on turns dry and brittle. She leads her daughters south toward a new light and a new people prepared to protect her.
Busenari Cow Mother lived in a golden pen with her many daughters. Each day the Emperor would come and lead Busenari out of the pen into a pasture of the greenest grass, made for her by the Empress. Busenari and her daughters would eat this grass, which was sweet and rich, until the Emperor grew tired and had to go to bed. At this time he would lead her back into her golden pen, which enveloped Busnari's kin in comfortable warmth.
In exchange for these boons- the sweet grass, the warm pen- Busenari fed the Emperor and his household. In those days people did not drink milk for sustenance, instead preferring a rejuvenating mead. But they did eat beef. Busenari selected the daughters who would join the imperial feasts. When they were done, the Emperor's servants would gather up all the bones and (after making soup of course) would bring them to Busenari in her pen. Busenari would sing the long slow song and in the morning she would have calves, new daughters, to replace the ones who had done their duty the night before.
Occasionally Busenari would hear a rumpus in the far distance. On occasion, when the sounds grew close, Busenari's daughters came to her and said, "Can we truly trust the Emperor to keep us safe?" Busenari sang them the calming song, which was then called Let the Emperor Worry About What Lies Beyond the Fields. And so they settled down.
Over time these disturbances grew more and more frequent. One night when the Emperor came to lead her back into the pen, Busenari saw that he was covered with dark splotches. This had never happened before so she asked him what they were. "Bruises," he said. "They're what you get when a fist or weapon strikes you. But do not trouble yourself. These troublemakers are but winds, blowing harmlessly."
Busenari ruminated upon this, and saw that if times were growing tougher, the need for calm and courage had grown along with it. So when her daughters came to her with fear in her hearts, she altered her calming song, and it became It is For the Emperor To Fight, and For Us To Stay Brave. And once more they settled down.
But one day came when Yelm returned to escort her back to the pen, Busenari saw what he was trying to hide from her: rips in his flesh. Now she sang her calming song to the Emperor, and it became Share Your Worries, and They Will Dwindle. "These winds are stronger than I thought," Yelm confessed. "Still, the Emperor is the Emperor, so they cannot prevail."
Busenari ruminated upon this surprising turn of events until she perceived a new calming song. When her daughters came to her, worried, she sang Fear of What Has Yet To Happen Does No One Any Good. And again they settled down.
One day the Emperor did not return at all. Instead the grassy fields plunged suddenly into darkness, and no one came to lead Busenari's daughters home. She waited for a long time but the air grew cold and not so far away she saw hungry creatures prowling. They leapt upon one of her daughters, dragging her away. Busenari understood that the creatures would not bring back this daughter's bones, preventing her from being created anew.
Before the creatures could take more of her daughters, Busenari rounded them up. She sang a new song, Now is the Time To Gather Ourselves. She became the one to lead them home.
Morning took a long time to come, and when it did, it was not in the form of the Emperor, but his son, who introduced himself as Elmal. He led her out to the pasture to introduce himself to the new Empress. Busenari recognized her as Nyalda, an attendant upon the previous Empress. Together the two entered an earthen mound, where they realized they had been sisters the whole time.
The new Emperor was as good as his word, or nearly so. Wolves and other creatures occasionally took her daughters, but when the survivors came to her, she sang The New Way is Hard, but We Will Persevere.
Over time the patch of grass became ever smaller. Its edges turned brown, encroached upon by ice.
Then one day the young Emperor did not come back. Busenari's daughters wondered if he had died, like his father. But since the sky had not entirely darkened, she reckoned that he had gone off somewhere. Busenari led her people to the pasture and looked for the Empress but did not find her either. The grass had never been worse- dry and tasteless and dwindling.
Busenari sang the song she had long prepared, called Now the Moment Has Come. It drew her daughters around her and they set off, toward the greatest warmth. As her song said, this was south, the Right Direction.
She headed that way until she found the horse goddess, Gamari. "Take me to the young Emperor" Busenari said.
"He went to find a new brightness," Gamari answered
"Then take me to his new household," Busenari said, "so we may calm and feed his warriors, and they may protect us."
Gamari agreed, but warned Busenari that Elmal's people were embarked together on a long journey.
Busenari saw that Gamari had a joy in wandering. "Give me a fraction of it," she said, "so that my daugthers might take it and embrace a life without pens, where you simply keep moving from one pasture to the next."
And Gamari did this, and went with Buesnari to find her partner, Hyalor, chieftain of the Riders.
"Where have you been?" the frantic, hungry Riders said.
"Coming to you," she said. And Busenari sang her newest calming song, Home is Wherever We Are.