The Horse Trainer – Tenali Raman Tales
An Arab brought a shipload of horses from Persia. Many in the court of king Krishnadevaraya bought the horses from the Arab. Raman maintained that Vijayanagara’s horses were superior to the horses from Arabia. The ministers who bought the Arabian horses challenged Raman to prove this point in a horse race.
The courtiers put in much effort to train their horses. They fed the horses well to make sure they were strong and sturdy.
On the day of the race, all the courtiers brought their well-fed horses to a field. They had employed well-trained jockeys to ride the horses.
Raman brought his horse which looked lean and thin. He had a hungry look, as though he had not eaten for days. Raman announced that he himself would ride his horse.
All the horses were lined up with the jockeys in position. Raman sat on the hungry-looking horse. He had a long pole in his hand. He had tied a bundle of grass to one end of the stick. Holding the stick from the other end, Raman dangled the grass in front of the horse. The horse wanted to grab the food. So, he ran fast. But no matter how fast he ran, the grass remained outside his reach.
The horse kept running with greater speed until it crossed the finish line, coming first in the race. Raman hugged his horse and fed it lush green grass. When Raman went to collect the prize, the king asked him the secret of his success. “One must have a hunger for success, Maharaj,” Raman said, “only then will one succeed.”