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The Shoeless Tiger

Prolog...

He came out of the west, riding a tiger, dressed in black, wearing no shoes.     “Who is that blue-eyed barbarian?” the people wondered.     But none dared approach him.     Only a little boy, newly out of his swaddles.     Hand outstretched, a finger pointing at the awesome figures of man and beast, the child walked forward on steady legs, to stand before the apparition.     “Can I ride on the horsey with you?” he asked.     The response was a bellowing laugh that shook the grounds and the mountains and cast fear into the hearts of the people.      “I have come across a hundred thousand miles to find the lotus blossom, and all I see in front of me is a sea of fools, led by a babe.”