Buffalo Boys (2018) Script

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For centuries, the ancient lands of Indonesia were colonized by the Dutch Empire.

Accounts of suppression, brutality and tragedy are often lost in tales of folklore.

This is one story where the worlds of fact and fiction collide...

[train horn blowing]

[indistinct chatter]

[Suwo] Let's go, that's it, put it all in! That's it.

Three to one on the little man.

[chatter continues, louder]

Trust me, you could triple your money, all right?

Triple your money, that's something crazy.

This is a fight of biblical proportions.

Are you guys ready for this fight?

Anyone else? Yeah, he gonna put the money in.


[cheering, chatter]

Come on.

Might wanna kick a little harder, brother.

That's it.


[cheering] Ooh!



Better quit now while you still got all your teeth, brother.

Keep taking those bets. I ain't done.

You sure? Oh!

[grunts] [yelling]



Favor has just changed, seven in one.

Feel good? [grunts]

That's the way!



Now I'm done.

Good fight.

[chuckles] All right.

[Jamar] Don't forget my share. We made a killing.

You darn cheats. That fight was rigged.

You know as well as I do that we won that fight fair and square.

[man] Sweet bullshit story. Give us our money back.

[Arana] Relax. It's just a game, son.

We give your money back.

But leave us to continue our journey in peace.

Oh, no, chief. This is my train. Your train?

I've been working this railroad with my boys since you were sucking your mother's tits.

You darn son of a-- [gunshot]

Uncle! [writhing in pain]

Uncle! Damn it, Suwo!

Let me see, let me see!


Just a graze on the skin. You're good.

OK. Good.

[Suwo whispers] I am sorry.

[Arana] It's time for us to go home.

I don't wanna die... before we set things straight.

[indistinct chattering]


[chattering continues]

[children chatter]

[solicitors chatter in foreign language]

[Jamar] Hey, Suwo.

[in Bahasa] I thought I'd never return to kiss the earth of my homeland that I had left behind.

[in English] Boys, remember why we're here.

No one is to know who we are, and where we come from.

Trust no one, blend in.

And remember, use our mother tongue like I taught you.

[in Bahasa] Come, let's go.

[man shouting] Hurry!

[soldier 1, in English] Boat won't be waiting all day.

[soldier 2] Come on.

[soldier 1] Come on, boys.

[Arana, in Bahasa] First, we must pay our respects to your father at the final resting place of all Sultans and their families.

[Arana panting]

[birds chirping]

[in Bahasa] This is your father's grave and this... your mother's.

God bless her soul.


Forgive me.

I should have never left you.

[continues in Bahasa] A long time ago, ancient kings ruled this land.

Civilization here flourished a thousand years before us.

We come from a land deep with heritage.

And part of it runs through your blood.

Both of you are born of noble heritage.

Raised in foreign lands, united by extreme circumstances.

That day, your father and I managed to escape.

[horse neighing]

We were lucky, so you survived.


[pulls knife out] [grunts, breathes heavily]

[young Arana in Bahasa] I thought if we could negotiate with them, they would leave us in peace.

How naive!

They need to pay!


We've already lost many of our people today.

Let's not lose our future too.

They're here.



[babies crying]

[men yelling]


[rapid footsteps]

Just get in! Get in!

[young Arana] Get in, Hamza.

[Hamza] Go now.

I'll delay them.

No, Hamza, we move together!


Get as far away as you can.

Bring my boys up as your own.

Save them, Arana.

They are our only hope.




[young Van Trach, in English] I see you survived my dagger, Sultan Hamza.

[gun cocks]

[in Bahasa] My death shall only strengthen the will of my people, Van Trach.


[Arana] Jamar...

[in Bahasa] as the eldest son, you have to shoulder the responsibility.


As the youngest, it is your brotherhood bond that will strengthen the both of you.

Don't ever forget that.

[in English] What are you doing? Huh? Oh, I--

Quit playing around. No, I was--

Stop pissing around.

Boys... knock it off.

[Suwo] You still obsessing over that map?

What if he's not even there?

We will find him... wherever he is.

And this time, we'll be ready.

[playful chatter]

[woman gasping]

[man] Shh.


[muffled grunting]

[in Bahasa] What do you want?

Do you guys need...

You came from over there.

Heading towards there.

So why are you stopping here?

Everything OK?

What are you looking at? Everything is fine.

That's my wife. She's in labor.

She's in labor? Yes.

I can help.

[Fakar] How?

What's that? I have medicine.

[Fakar] What medicine?

This is for her pain.

My wife is not in pain, she's just in labor.

But-- Move along!

Sorry, sir. We'll move along.

[Suroyo] Help.



[woman gasps] Don't move!

Or Fakar will kill her! Calm down. Calm down.

You want to die?

Get back!

You think Fakar's messing around?

Think again!

Get back!

[Jamar] Come here!


[sobbing] Sri!

[Fakar yelling]

[Fakar] It hurts.

Next time, mind your own business.


[Suroyo] Wait, wait!

Where are you heading?

Please come to our village.

There, you can bathe, eat and rest.

That would be my honor.

Please, come!


[oxen lowing]


[ox lows]


[Arana] What's happening there?

That man knows how to ride!

I've never seen a man ride a buffalo like that.

And shoot like an Apache warrior! Yeah.

Woo! [laughs]



Earlier, I noticed crops being burned.


To grow opium.

It's more profitable for them.

If we don't burn the rice, the Dutch will burn us.


There are the farmers who chose to plant crops because they thought feeding their families was more important.

But they had to pay the price.

[Suwo] What's that smell?

[Arana] This is the stench of hatred!

[Suroyo] Hey!




Come here, sweetheart!


[Kiona] Grandpa!

What happened to your head?

[Suroyo] I had a fall. It's just a scratch.


My granddaughter, Kiona.

[Jamar clears throat]

You are an excellent rider.

For a... girl.

[in English] Hold my hat!

[in Bahasa] Your riding was spectacular.

I'm Suwo.



The hand that you kissed is the hand that wipes her-- Ass.


Your beauty made them forget their manners.

I am Arana.



How's my riding, Grandpa?

[Sakar] Kiona!

You stole my buffalo again!

I only borrowed him, Father.

Your father is the head of the village, while you ride buffaloes as if you're a boy!

You embarrass me!

Excuse me.

You should be proud of her.

[Sakar] Who are you people? Kiona!

[Kiona] Sri!

Father, don't. [Sakar] Silence!

What do you want here? [Suroyo] Sakar.

These men are our friends, not our enemies.

They are-- [Sakar] They are strangers!

And all strangers are enemies.

If the Dutch find out, we'll be the ones who pay the price. Have you no shame?

These men saved me and your daughter Sri!

That's two lives you owe them!

It's true, Father.

If not for them, both of us would be dead.

[Sakar] Forgive me.

I misjudged you.

Come join us for dinner tonight.

Would you like to freshen up?


[whooping and laughter]


[people laughing]


[women gasping]


[Arana] Boys, stop showing off!

The ladies are getting over-excited.


We've met before!

[woman] Where? In my dreams.


I wouldn't forget a dashing man like that.

[woman] Maybe you'll remember once he takes off his sarong.

[in English] Boys...

[Ibu] Let me help you, handsome.

It won't take long. [Arana, in English] Boys.

[music and chatter]

[in Bahasa] These men saved my family.

Henceforth, we will treat them as our family.

[all] Yes.

Sir, with all due respect, your father and daughter should not be traveling alone.

I would have sent men to accompany them, but all our men are assisting to re-plant the crops.

[Suroyo] What?


It's forced labor.

Forced labor?

[Suroyo] You've seen what happens if we dare to oppose them.

Why doesn't the Sultan do something?

[Kiona] We haven't had a Sultan for a while.

It suits the Dutch just fine.

The Dutch control everything now.

[Sakar] Father!


You say too much.

Don't you dare silence me, Sakar!

Our villagers will starve if we don't have rice.

This is hell on earth.

Ever since Van Trach returned!

[Jamar] Van Trach?

He and his men kill, rape and pillage, without fear of punishment.


And none of us dare to fight them.

[Sakar] Kiona!

Don't pay attention to my daughter's words.

There's a lot she still doesn't understand.

As long as we live by their rules, we'll live in peace and they'll leave us alone.

As long as we live by their rules, we will live in peace.


I believed that once.

But the consequence was... a life was lost!

[Kiona sighs] Damn it!

I don't need help.

I can manage.

What are you doing here?

Shouldn't you be inside with the other men, making important decisions?

[Suwo] I don't usually get to participate, in making important decisions.

[Kiona] Oh, yeah?

It's tough, not being taken seriously.

What would you know about that?

I mean, I know how you feel.

I can relate.

Can you really?

As the youngest, I am also at a disadvantage.

No. You have one huge advantage.

You're a man.

You can do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want, and with whomever you want.

You're not seen as an embarrassment, nor evaluated, and not judged And all that is because... you're a man.

You don't think there's pressure being a man?

I was born with a set of rules.

Don't show your feelings.

Be braver, be stronger.

Fight. Be a hero. Win.

As if those are the only virtues that make you a man.

The key is timing.

You're rushing and therefore, your aim is off.

Are you saying you have better aim?

Of course.

I'm a man.


Like this.

I only want to help.

I'm so happy to see you. You've been gone for so long.

Distance has forced me to grow up.

Father, Kiona.

I'm tired of hiding.

Moving from village to village is really tough.

I only want to come home!

We just don't want you to experience what we had gone through here.

Though I'm glad you are here, I also fear for your safety.

[children giggle]

[man] They are coming! They are coming!

They are coming! They are coming!

[in English] Let's go.

[in Bahasa] You must leave now!

[Suroyo] Kiona!


Quick! Guide them to the forest!

There's no time!

[Kiona] I'm going with Sri!

[Sakar] It's worse if they find her with them! Go!

Suwo! Ready!

[Arana] That's enough.

Cover it with leaves!

Yes, Uncle.


[soldier] Hurry up!


These are the people, along with three others, who attacked Fakar.

Sir, this is not true!

Not true? He attacked us!

[Drost] Silence!

Where are the others? Sir, he tried to rape me.

Who will you believe, sir?

Fakar, your loyal servant who lost an eye for the company, Or... this cursed whore?

[Suroyo] Let go!

Don't! Don't!



She's not even registered!

No stamp.

It's true, sir.

There were three other people here, but they're gone now!

Fakar was right!

Fakar was right!

Please, sir, don't harm her.

She has nothing to do with this!

[Drost] What are you waiting for?

Register her!

Help, sir! Don't, sir!

What's happening?


[Suwo] For what?

[Kiona] Their stamp on us.

We didn't register Sri.

She was too young.



[man laughing]



[man shouting]


[Jamar] Who's that man?

His name is Drost.

Van Trach's right-hand man.


[Drost] Take the old man and the girl!


Just leave me.

[Arana] Come.

Leave her be.

Take the bags.

Forgive me, Sri.

[Arana] Tomorrow we'll explore the town.

[Jamar] I am sure, Uncle.

Van Trach will be there.


[Arana] The time for reckoning is here.

[Arana] This is it, boys.


[grunts] [laughing]

[Koen] That's all the rice you get for that little opium!

[Arana] Go get some supplies.

I will scout around.

Where are you from?

Come in!

Many special goods inside.

Come in!

Welcome, gentlemen.


I have something very special for you.

You are sure to like this!

[liquid sloshes]

Try this.

[gasps] Scorpion arak.

Makes you strong.

Makes the ladies feel good!

[chuckles] If there's one thing I don't like, it's that.


[shopkeeper] Relax, sir. Relax!


This just came in.

It is a bit pricey.


You can use this over and over again.

You pay more, but you can last longer!


Count this!

[butcher] Sir, come buy some chickens.

[Jamar] How much?

[Kiona] Those buds open only at night.


What are you doing here?

Besides breeding bulls, Father also grows flowers.

Any news about your grandfather and sister?

[Kiona] No news yet, just that all the headmen have been summoned to town.

Will Van Trach be there?

[Kiona] He should be, he summoned my father specifically.

Come with me.

I was about to go to the town square.




Van Trach.

[in English] Gentlemen... we all agreed to maintain a society based on justice and prosperity for all.

But one of you has let his village down.

One of you has been disloyal.

Sakar... step forward.

Your daughter evaded registration.

And she, and your father conspired with foreign criminals, and robbed one of my men during a routine inspection.

Criminals, whom you harbor in your village.


I have not toiled all these years to see you all plunged back into the anarchy from which I have saved you.

The law is the law.

And it must be upheld.

I find the accused guilty.


And the sentence is clear... death.

[in Bahasa] No!

[clamoring] [laughing]

[Van Trach] Now as you all know, I am a merciful man.

As Resident, I can grant a pardon.


I can only pardon one.

Tell me, dear friend...

[Sri whimpering] ...who shall I pardon?

[in Bahasa] Sir.

I have served you well.

[in English] Tell me, Sakar.

If you are loyal, you wouldn't hesitate to tell me.

[Sakar, in Bahasa] Please, sir.

I did everything you asked.

I cannot make this impossible choice.

They are my family, sir.

They have done nothing wrong!

[Suroyo] Quiet, Sakar!

Why are you bargaining with the devil?

I am ready to die, Sakar.

But why do you have to beg to this dog?


Hey, devil!

Just kill me!

You will rot in hell soon enough!





[blow lands] [crowd gasps]


[woman mocks choking, laughing]

[in English] Is the burden of leadership too much for you?

Shall we relieve you of your duties for a while?


[crowd gasps]

Sakar, you should know me well by now.

You've served me far too long for me to do this to you.


[in Bahasa] Father!

[in Bahasa] Not here! Too many people!

[sobbing] Father!



[crowd gasps] All of you are cowards!

[in English] Kiona, in the eyes of the law, your father committed a serious act of treason.

I had no alternative but to execute him.

I would have liked to see some show of gratitude for sparing your dear sister's life.

Are you not grateful?



Don't force me to revoke my pardon.

[in Bahasa] I am thankful.

[in English] Can't hear you.

[in Bahasa] I am grateful, sir.


[in English] Take the new girl to the house.

[Sri sobbing]

[in Bahasa] We have to follow him.


[Sri sobbing]

[Van Trach, in English] Train the new girl.

[piano playing upbeat tune]


[woman] Hi.


[Jamar, in Bahasa] It's risky, hiding out here.

[Suwo] It's still the closest we can get to him.

[Jamar] Have you found us a way out?

[Suwo] Don't worry.

The cute girls downstairs told me this.

There is an exit, at the back.


[Jamar] Now we wait.

[Arana] Sit down, Suwo.

I want to speak to the two of you.

I have waited for this day.

This dagger belonged to your father.

This dagger has been handed down for generations, to each successive Sultan.

And now, you are its rightful owner.

The Javanese carry them for protection.

Bring it with you everywhere you go.

Always keep it with you.


All these years, I've kept this knife.

It serves as a reminder to me, of the sacrifice and the pain I've endured.

This is now yours.

We all have the same purpose.

We must work together, to reach our goal.

Remember that well.

[Jamar] I have him.




Then be sure.


Be sure.

[Jamar] There's... There's a servant in the way.

I can't get a clear shot, Uncle.

I'll do it.

[shouting, indistinct]



Die, you son of a bitch.





[Jamar breathing heavily]


[grunting] Uncle.

Uncle. [Jamar] Uncle. Hey.

[Jamar] What's wrong?

Suwo, go to the Chinese store. Get medicine.


OK. OK. I'll look for another way.

I'm so sorry.

Your father and grandfather were brave men.

You see that old lady over there?

Van Trach's gang killed her son.

Or rather, hunted him down for pleasure.

They returned his bullet-ridden body but without his head.

The bar owner likes keeping it as a trophy.

She can't rest until her son is whole again.

But no one can help her.

This is our life living under Van Trach's rule.

You're the pretty girl Fakar talked about!

I want to introduce you... to some of our hungry boys.



[Suwo] Hey-- [grunts]

[laughing] [Suwo grunts]

[indistinct chatter]

[Kiona gasps]

[in English] That's your boyfriend?

[in Bahasa] You!

Long time no see.

[soldier, in English] Sit.

[grunting] Stay here.

[women gasping]

[in Bahasa] Cyclops. What are you doing?

Looking for lice. Why?

[Koen] If you plan on blowing his brains out all over my bar, you better think twice.


Fakar is watching you.

[thud] [woman laughing]

[fly buzzing]

[Koen] I've been watching you.

What do you want here?

[coin clangs]

[fly buzzing]

[Suwo grunts] [gasps]

[Kiona begging] [soldier, in English] See, you see?

[in Bahasa] You have balls of steel.

Coming into my bar like that.


I'll leave.

But first...

How about that trophy,

and the girl over there...


In exchange for your lives.


You're funny.

But it seems, the collection on my wall will be much better...

with another skull.






[Drost] What's happening here? [crowd gasps]



[Seruni] You must be ready.

He might come to you tonight.

[Sri] Why are you still here?

We can find a way to escape.

[Seruni] Many have tried.

They are always captured, and hung on the Banyan tree outside.

How can you stand this?

My husband, and my entire family have vanished.

I have no one else but myself.

No one else.

[Van Trach, in English] You know, I've always had a soft spot for you.

You're the only one that never tried to run.

Maybe that's a smart trait I can admire.


[opens cabinet]

Beautiful, isn't it?

I took this one necklace because it was given to my mother by a secret admirer.

She never wore it out of fear for my father.

But she cherished it because it was the closest thing she ever had to happiness.

And, because of that...

I want you to have it.

[in Bahasa] I'm not your mother.

I do not want to be linked to your past.

[grunts] [in English] You bitch!


[grunting intensifies]

[beating continues]


[Van Trach grunting]

[in Bahasa] Where are you going?

To clear my head, get some air.

Wait, Uncle. Look.


[soldier, in English] We got the foreigner.

[in Bahasa] Go find Suwo.

[Jamar] Aren't you coming, Uncle?


Meet me at the village later.

Van Trach?

Find your brother first.


[Van Trach, in English] Come with me, all of you.

[water cascading]




[water sloshing]

[door opens] [footsteps approach]

[both gasping]

Tell me what you know about these men.

Who are they?

[in Bahasa] You won't get anything out of me.

[in English] I think her registration needs some renewal.

[in Bahasa] Fakar will get the brand ready!

[Suwo shouts]

Use the knife.


[in English] Wait! Where did you get that?

[in Bahasa] It's not Fakar's.

It was on the table.

It belongs to him.

[in English] Where did you find this?

[Fakar, in Bahasa] Answer!

Think hard.

Where did you last leave it?

[in English] Sultan Hamza.

Who are you, boy?

[in Bahasa] I am his son.

[in English] His son?

I remember that day very well.

[grunts] [gasps]

[Koen, in Bahasa] Sir... there's an intruder in your house.

[in English] Arana.

Deal with him. Finish him.

[chuckles, in Bahasa] Thank you, sir!

[in English] You stay here.

[in Bahasa] You're not in a hurry, are you?


Leave him! He's had enough!

Stop torturing him!

I see you want one too.

Where do you want Fakar to put yours?

How about here? [groaning]

Or should Fakar go for your forehead?

[Jamar] Yes. [gasps]

The forehead will do.


Are you all right?

Thank you.

[Jamar, in English] Always bailing you out, huh?

What took you so long?

You good? We gotta go.

[Arana, in Bahasa] I thought Van Trach had surely killed you.

[Seruni] He might as well have.

How did you find the strength?

With every beat of my heart,

you were there with me too, Arana.

You were my hope.

There has not been a single day I don't regret.

And ask God for forgiveness...

for leaving you.

My love.


[door opens, shuts]

Van Trach!

[in English] Kick it in.

[man] They're gone.



[in Bahasa] Come! Hurry!


[Seruni] Thank you.



You must be Jamar.

You have your father's eyes.

You're that woman at Van Trach's house.

It's OK, Jamar.

She's his wife?

I am Seruni.

Your uncle's wife.

But we thought you were... [Arana] Yes.

We all did.

Seruni is alive.

You look just like your mother.


Yes, I'm your auntie.


I'll wait outside.

[Suwo] Be careful.


Van Trach probably knows we're here.

We should go.

Yes. We still have a chance to kill him.

To avenge our parents.

[Seruni] Your father was a warrior, but he fought for justice.

He would never let his sons waste their lives for the sake of vengeance.

Have you forgotten?

That day, Father set out to negotiate peace but instead, he was murdered.

Jamar, don't.

I won't be so foolish to make the same mistake.

Revenge is a right.

He robbed us of our family.

Revenge may be a right, but forgiveness makes you stronger.

[Arana] Jamar, I'm wrong.

Your father never acted out of hatred.

He always chose to forgive, if he could.

If not for revenge, then why are we here?

To serve justice.

For our people.


Jamar... [horse whinnies]

[Van Trach, in English] Hello there!

Van Trach!

I see the family's reunited.


[Van Trach] How happy you all must be.

I find it rather rude that I'm not included into your merry gathering... considering how much... Hey.

...of a family we really are.

I mean, for the last 20 years your wife has shared my bed, Arana.

I spent many a pleasant evening understanding her pleasures and her pains.

Let my wife go, Arana... and I will allow you all to have an honorable death.

[in Bahasa] We're surrounded.

To die with you, would be my greatest honor, Arana.

[in English] Burn the house.

Flush him out.

Shoot every one of 'em down.

Every one.

[Kiona, in Bahasa] Let me go!


[in English] She has made her decision.

She will burn with the rest of them.

[Arana and Seruni gasping]

[Jamar, in Bahasa] Animals! Get back!

Stay down!

[man shouts]


Everyone all right?



Jamar, we can use the smoke to escape.

What? Clear the way first.

Are you mad?

[Suwo] You clear the way, I'll help Uncle.

No way. We have to stay as a group.

Please trust me. I will bring them out in one piece.

[in English] Promise me you'll bring them out.

[Suwo] We'll be right behind you.

Trust me.

Come on!

[gasps faintly] Go!

[in Bahasa] Uncle, we need to cover your wound.

Bear with it, Uncle. It's just a scratch, Suwo.

[Suwo] Just bear with the pain for a while.

[Arana] Suwo, our time together is at an end.

No. [Arana] It is time for you to take hold of your own destiny.

I'm not leaving you two behind.

Indeed you aren't... because I'm the one who has to leave.

[Arana breathing heavily]

I have always loved you and Jamar as my own sons.

Your father will be so proud of both of you.

I'm sure that's what he'll say when the wind carries me to meet him.


Don't worry, Suwo.

I'm very much at peace.

It is time for you to leave now.

Jamar is waiting for you.


[wood cracking]


[quiet rustling]

[in English] Where are they?

They're not coming.

What do you mean?

They're gone.

You told me... to go first... and you'll be right behind me.

I tried. You told me to trust you.

Say something!

That's not fair. Fair?

You wanna know what's not fair?!


Uncle is dead because of you!

You left Uncle to die.

Go to hell!











[birds chirping]

You're the only family I have.



Uncle told me to tell you he was sorry.

Now he'll be watching over us, alongside with father.

And that whatever we do next... we do for the people.

Our people.

[soldier, in Bahasa] Come on. Go.


[Drost, in English] We didn't find the bodies.


You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?

[sighs] I'm gettin' tired of watching people hang.

It just takes too long.

[grunting] Your boys are going to be too late.


[in Bahasa] Sir, our guests have arrived.

[in English] Well, I'll be damned.

And right in time, too.

Close the gates.

Shoot them down!


You ready? Ready as I'll ever be.

I think they want a face-to-face.

[in Bahasa] Van Trach, let's make a deal.

[in English] A deal?

[Suwo, in Bahasa] Take your men, leave this place and don't ever return.


[in English] As you can see, we are all quite comfortable here.


[in Bahasa] In that case, be prepared to face judgement.

[in English] What are you? Cowboys of the Wild West?

[buffalo groans] Cowboys ride horses, not buffalo. [chuckling]

And if I can't call you cowboys, I will call you... the Buffalo Boys.

[men chuckle]

[in Bahasa] So what's it going to be?


Or peace?

[in English] I think this is what they call a showdown.




[in English] Fire the cannon!











Jamar, no, no, no...

[gun clicking]


[in Bahasa] I'll give you one bullet.

What are you going to do, boy?



[in English] You are just dead leaves blown in--

[in English] You tough son of a bitch.


[in Bahasa] Are you all set?

All set.


Uncle was right.

This dagger saved my life.

Look, this is where the bullet bounced off it.


I'll get the horses ready.

I know that you must leave.

So must we.

They will be back for more blood.

We'll meet again... when the time is right.

Tell the rest of our people that there's still hope.

And there are still people who are willing to fight for justice.


Hey... This belongs to my uncle, Arana.

And now it's yours.

Take care of it, yeah?

[boy] OK.

Thank you.

We'll never forget you.


We'll meet them again. [Jamar urges horse]

[Sri] How are you so sure?

Because when legends are born, they will never die.

[Jamar urges horse]