Max, the talking buffalope, has an enquiring mind, a keen sense of humour, and a grumpy disposition. Orphaned by the villainous Neruvians, sold off as a slave to the callous Berundians, he escapes into the wilderness, is attacked by vicious lupers, and rescued in the nick of time by the jester, Alexander Darke. Alexander is young and fairly unsuccessful. Done out in a costume of many colours, he totes his caravan around, entertaining people with (mostly bad) jokes. Max settles in with Alexander and his elvish wife, Sarah. He makes himself indispensable and the partnership prospers. Word gets around, and a Royal Command Performance is arranged. They are top of the bill. But everything that can go wrong goes wrong.... hilarously. The hitherto lugubrious King Cletus is enchanted. Stars overnight, they see off their arch-rival, the bad comic Jonathan Jolly.
Sarah finds that she is expecting a happy event. Fetch the midwife! A nightmare journey back. Max to the rescue again! Sebastian Darke is born.