Horse was confident he would beat slow Snail in the race. But he didn’t take into account Snail’s intelligence.

In the days when the world abounded with dense forests, all kinds of animals coexisted in those vast spaces. Among them was the small, slow Snail and the large, swift Horse.

One morning, Horse passed Snail on a long stretch of the rough road near the forest they lived in.

“The slow must always make way for the swift,” Horse taunted, with unnecessary arrogance. Snail wasn’t intimidated. He drew himself to his full height — if such a thing was possible in someone as diminutive as snail — and answered, “Snails only run fast when there is a race.”

The race

Horse snorted and asked, “Do you mean you can beat me in a race?” The contempt in his voice was evident.

“Exactly!” replied Snail with dignity. “Shall we run a race on this road tomorrow morning?” he challenged.

“Agreed,” said Horse, with his usual air of superiority.

Snail had a large family. He assembled all his family members and said, “Horse flesh has great medicinal properties. It cures aching muscles and hurting limbs. Would any of you like a morsel of it?”

The whole family of snails expressed their eagerness for horse flesh. “Well, then, listen to me carefully. Line this road for as many miles as you can. The distance between each of you must be exactly one furlong. Remember that important fact.” (In those days, the metric system wasn’t in use.)

The loyal, supportive family of snails did exactly as they were told though it took them the whole day and the entire night.

The next morning, Horse and Snail met at the starting point.

Horse asked scornfully, “All set, ace sprinter?”

Snail nodded. “Off we go!” he said as he raced off.

At the first furlong, he stopped and asked, “Are you still in the race?”

“Very much,” was the retort. Surprised, Horse looked down and spotted Snail. He didn’t realise that he was looking at a relative of his rival.

“Let’s see if you can keep up with me till the next furlong,” mocked the over-confident Horse and charged straight ahead.

But at the next furlong the same thing happened and the one after that. Furious, Horse dashed madly ahead but always Snail was there before him.

Finally, temper and exhaustion caused Horse to drop dead. The snail family feasted on dead Horse.

It is believed that snails don’t ever have any aches and pains.

Does this remind you of any other story? Which one?