Friday, March 20, 2009

The Horse Expert

Source: Taoism
Translated by: Unknown

There was once a king who decided he wanted to make a present of a new horse to his daughter and he sent for his chief advisor to ask him his opinion.

“I’m afraid I know nothing of horses,” his advisor replied when he arrived, “But I do know of man in a province not far from here who is an expert in the field. We can trust his judgement.”

The King was delighted and he sent out a dispatch right away to the expert, requesting that he wished to buy his best horse. A reply came a few days later that he had the perfect horse in mind, a black stallion of the highest quality. The king grew even more excited and began telling all his subjects about the creature that was to arrive.

When the horse finally showed up though, it turned out to be a dun-coloured mare. The king flew intro a great rage and sent for his counsellor.

“I thought you said this man was an expert on horses!” he yelled, “But he can’t even get the colour or sex right of the animal.”

“Oh, has he really gone as far as that?” the counsellor gasped in admiration, “When I knew him he was able to tell the quality of a horse from its look and posture – now he has gone beyond such exterior signs. He sees so much of the inner essence of the animal that everything else ceases to count.”

And, sure enough, the horse turned out to be of the highest standards.

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