One day a businessman was riding his horse to the marketplace. After covering quite a distance he became tired. So he got down from his horse and tied it to a mango tree. At the foot of the mango tree he lay down and took rest.
In a few minutes’ time, a high-ranking officer came passing by. He was also riding his horse to the marketplace to perform some duty. When he saw that the businessman was lying under the tree, he also felt tired. If one sees someone else lying down, one also becomes tired. So the officer decided to tie his horse to the same mango tree and also take rest.
The businessman said to the officer, “What are you doing? Why are you tying your horse to the same tree that I have tied my horse to?”
The officer replied, “Shut up!”
The businessman said, “My horse is much more powerful, much stronger than yours. If it fights with your horse, it may injure or even kill your horse. You have to take your horse somewhere else. Otherwise, if anything happens to your horse, I will not be responsible. I came here before you. I am tired and want some rest. Is this the kind of justice one finds in this kingdom?”
“Yes!” said the officer. “Might is right.”
“You may be stronger than I am,” said the businessman, “but my horse is stronger than your horse. I am going to lie down here again, but if my horse attacks yours, I won’t be responsible.”
In a few minutes’ time the businessman’s horse attacked the other horse and badly injured it. The poor horse was miserable and badly hurt.
The following day the officer went to the king and made a complaint against the businessman, and the businessman was summoned before the king. The king was very fond of the officer’s horse, so he was very, very mad. He started scolding and insulting the businessman. “Why did you not take your horse to another place?” he asked.
The man did not answer him. He remained absolutely silent. The king again and again asked him the question, but the man would not answer him. Finally, the king said to the officer, “You are a fool. You brought me a dumb man. He can’t even speak. I don’t know what happened yesterday, but you should have told me that he could not speak. Why should I have to deal with a dumb person?”
The officer said, “No, no! Today he is dumb, but yesterday he was arguing with me and threatening me. He told me to move my horse, since he had been there first.”
The king said, “If he was there first, and he asked you to keep your horse somewhere else, then it is your fault.” Then the king immediately dismissed the case.