The Wise Judge

A long time ago, the Chief Justice of the King’s Court in Srinagar was renowned for his wisdom. It was said that no matter how cunningly false evidence was made to appear the truth, the judge could always discern right from wrong and give a fair judgement.

The King continually heard stories about this wise judge, so one day, he decided to disguise himself as a peasant, go to the Court and see if the judge was as clever as everyone said.

That day the judge was confronted with a curious case. Two men each claimed to be the owner of a horse. Both men swore the other man had asked for a lift, and neither could produce a single witness to vouch for his story.

The judge ordered that the horse be put with twenty other horses. But when this was done, each of the two men, without hesitation, picked out the right horse.

Everyone, including the King, thought there was a case the judge could not solve. But the judge announced which of the two men owned the horse and ordered that the other claimant, who had given false evidence, should be publicly whipped.

The King could not understand how the judge had arrived at his decision. So he made himself known to the judge and requested an explanation.

“Your Majesty,” said the judge, “It was quite simple. I knew that both men would easily identify the horse, but I wanted to know which man would be identified by the horse. If you had observed closely, you would have seen that the horse was happy to see the first of the two men.”

The King congratulated the judge on his wisdom and ordered that the judge be rewarded for his services to the State.

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