The prime minister said, “I was looking for my whole life for this type of horse, because I have learned one ancient secret – that I can teach horses to fly – but only of a particular type. This is the type, and this is my last day. I am not worried about my death, but just that one ancient art will be lost with me. That’s why I am weeping.”
The emperor was thrilled, excited – if the horse could fly, this would be something – so he said, “How many days will it take?”
The prime minister said, “At least one year – and then this horse will start flying.”
So the emperor said, “Okay, for one year I will make you free, but remember, if in one year the horse is not flying, you will be again sentenced and hanged. But if the horse is flying, you will be forgiven. And not only forgiven, I will give you half of my kingdom, because I will be the first emperor in history who has a flying horse. So come out of the jail and don’t weep.”
The prime minister rode, happy and laughing, on the horse to his house. But the wife was still weeping and crying and she said, “I have heard, the news has reached before you – but one year only? And I know you know no art, and this horse cannot fly. This is just a trick, a deception, so if you could ask for one year why couldn’t you ask for ten years?”
The prime minister said, “That would be too much. As it is, it is already too much. The horse flying is already too much. Then asking for ten years would have been obviously a trick. But don’t weep.”
But the wife said, “It makes me still more sad that now I will be living with you and after one year you will be hanged. This one year is going to be a suffering.”
The prime minister said, “Now I will tell you one ancient secret you don’t know. In this one year the king can die, the horse can die, I can die. Or, who knows? – the horse can learn to fly! One year!”
Just hope – and man lives through hope because he is so bored. When boredom comes to a point where you cannot hope, when hopelessness is absolute, you commit suicide. Boredom and suicide are both human. No animal can commit suicide, no tree can commit suicide.
Why has this happened? What is the reason behind it? Has man forgotten completely how to live, how to celebrate, how to be festive? While the whole existence is festive, how has man retreated out of it and created a sad milieu around him?
It has happened. Animals live through instinct; they don’t live through awareness. They live through instinct, mechanically. Nothing has to be learned. They are born with whatsoever they need to know. Their life runs on a smooth instinctive plane; there is no learning. They have an inbuilt program, a blueprint in their cells, for all that they need to live and be happy, so they go on living mechanically.