One day, Tenali Rama was walking in the market when he saw a man selling a horse. The man was shouting, “This is the best horse in the world! It can run faster than the wind, jump higher than the clouds, and swim across the river. It is worth a thousand gold coins, but I am selling it for only five hundred!”
Tenali Rama was curious and approached the man. He asked, “Why are you selling such a wonderful horse for so cheap?”
The man replied, “Because I am in a hurry and I need money urgently. But you have to buy it now, or I will change my mind.”
Tenali Rama thought for a moment and said, “I am interested, but I have to test the horse first. Can I ride it for a while and see how it performs?”
The man agreed and handed over the reins to Tenali Rama. Tenali Rama mounted the horse and rode away. He did not come back for a long time.
The man waited patiently, thinking that Tenali Rama was enjoying the horse and would return soon. But after an hour, he became worried and decided to look for him. He asked around the market, but no one had seen Tenali Rama or the horse.
He finally found a boy who said, “I saw a man riding a horse towards the river. He was shouting, ‘This is the worst horse in the world! It can’t run faster than a snail, jump higher than a pebble, or swim across a puddle. It is worth nothing, but I am selling it for only one gold coin!'”
The man realized that Tenali Rama had tricked him and ran towards the river. He saw Tenali Rama standing near the bank, holding the horse by the reins. He was surrounded by a crowd of people who were laughing at him.
The man shouted, “Hey, you thief! Give me back my horse!”
Tenali Rama said, “What horse? This is not a horse, this is a donkey. I bought it from you for five hundred gold coins, remember?”
The man said, “Don’t lie! This is the same horse that I sold you. It has the same color, the same markings, and the same saddle.”
Tenali Rama said, “No, no, you are mistaken. This is a donkey that looks like a horse. It can’t do anything that a horse can do. See for yourself.”
He then asked the crowd to witness the horse’s abilities. He tried to make it run, but it only trotted slowly. He tried to make it jump, but it only stumbled. He tried to make it swim, but it only sank.
The crowd laughed louder and louder, and the man felt ashamed and angry. He realized that Tenali Rama had made a fool of him and everyone else. He said, “Fine, you win. Keep the horse, or the donkey, or whatever it is. I don’t want it anymore.”
He turned around and walked away, cursing under his breath.
Tenali Rama smiled and said, “Thank you, sir. You are very generous. I will sell this donkey for one gold coin and make a profit of four hundred and ninety-nine gold coins. What a great deal!”
He then sold the donkey to a farmer who needed it for his work. He pocketed the gold coin and went home happily.
Don’t be greedy and dishonest, or you will end up losing everything.