When the man first tried to buy the horse, the deal seemed too good to be true.
“$1,000 and he’s yours,” the old farmer said to him. “He’s a fine horse. Good, strong. He’ll put you through a few seasons at least.”
The man tried to negotiate on the price. $1000 was a lot of money. But he was not a shrewd businessman. So the best the farmer offered him was $500 up-front and the rest once the horse was in his possession.
Two days later, the man went back to the farm to visit the old farmer. As he walked up to the house, the old man looked at him with downcast eyes.
“Son, you are not gonna believe what happened. That horse you bought from me? Dead as a doornail as of this morning.”
The man was stunned. “What do you mean ‘dead?’ We had a deal!”
“Well, there ain’t much I can do for you now,” the old farmer responded, shrugging his shoulders. “Come out back with me and see for yourself.”
The two men walked side by side out to the barn, where, indeed, there lay a dead horse on the grass near the stable. The beast was brown and white, and the old man had not even bothered to remove the stirrups. The animal seemed to have quite literally died in harness.
“I want my money back!” the man persisted. He stretched out a hand expecting the wad of dollars he handed over just a couple days before. But, once more, the old man simply shrugged his shoulders.
“Fraid there ain’t much I can do for you there either. I spent that money the night you gave it to me. I don’t have your money. But it’s a shame about your horse, though. But what can you do?”
A month later, the farmer drove into town to run some errands. As he made his way into the bank, he saw none other than the man with the dead horse. He was depositing a large wad of cash — nearly $5,000.
The old farmer walked up to the man and touched him on the shoulder. When the man saw the farmer his eyes lit up. The two men shook hands firmly.
“Hey there son,” the old farmer said to him. “Looks like you’re doing pretty well there! Business is good?”
The man chuckled and nodded. “Indeed, business is good.”
“Mind if I ask how you came across all that money?” the old man asked.
The man shrugged his shoulders. “Well, after you ripped me off, I did not have enough money to make rent. I needed that horse to make money, so I had to get creative.”
“So what did you do?”
“I put up an ad for a raffle,” the man continued. “$5 per person. Winner gets a horse. I think I sold around a thousand raffle tickets…”
“Wasn’t the guy pissed to find out he won a dead horse?” the old farmer asked.
“You bet. And I made sure to give him back his five dollars.”