It was winter. Entire region was under cold wave. People remained inside their homes to escape from icy winds. A merchant had to go to another town on business. He set out on his horse. Due to the cold the horse too trotted slowly.
He reached the town in the evening. The merchant and the horse both were freezing in the cold. The merchant wanted to warm himself in front of fire. Inside a roadside inn, he saw fire burning around which people sat enjoying the warmth of the fire. They were telling stories and jokes.
The merchant dismounted and tied his horse to the pole of the horse shed. Then, he went inside, greeted the people and shook hands. The people around the fire continued their gossip. No one was kind enough to make room for the merchant before fire.
It angered the merchant. He called out to the manager of the inn and asked, ‘What have you got for eating?'
The manager replied…Beans, potatoes, chicken soup and bread….What would you like to have?"
'First, feed my horse. The poor fellow is very hungry. Give him a bowl of hot chicken soup.' the merchant said.
The people looked at the merchant very surprised.
One of them asked, “Mister! Does your horse really take soup?"
“Oh! yes. He does…The soup must be steaming hot.’
The manager called a waiter and ordered him," Serve a bowl of hot chicken soup to the gentleman’s horse out in the shed.’
The waiter went out with the soup. All the people who were sitting around the fire also got up and went out to see the horse take the soup.
The merchant sat comfortably before the fire.
A short while later, the waiter returned and said, ’Sir, your horse is not taking soup. You asked us to feed it chicken soup. So, what is the matter?’
The merchant remarked, "It looks that he is in no mood for soup. Please feed him some grams, oats and a bale of grass. And give me the soup"
The people looked at him puzzled. But the merchant started enjoying the hot soup sitting in the warmth of the fire with great satisfaction. Because of his smart move, he enjoyed the warmth of the fire for the whole night. Is this not a smart enough?