The Pebbles

Posted by M ws On Thursday, April 26, 2012 4 comments
Many years ago in a small village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender.

The moneylender, who was an awful, mean man, fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter. Since the farmer was unable to pay the debt, the moneylender proposed a deal. He said he would forgot the farmer's debt if he could marry his daughter.

Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag.

Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag.

1. If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father's debt would be forgiven.
2. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven.
3. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer's field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag.

He then told the girl to pick a pebble from the bag. Now, imagine that you were standing in the field.

What would you have done if you were the girl?
If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the money-lender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to ponder over the story.

The above story is used with the hope that it will help us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.

The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses the above logical answers.

What would you recommend to the Girl to do? Well, here is what she did . . . .

The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."

Since the remaining pebble is black, it is reasonable to assumed that she had picked the white one.

And since the money-lender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely favorable one for herself and her father.

4 comments to The Pebbles

  1. says:

    CLY The moral of the story is not to borrow from Ah Loong or Chettiars. They want your pound of flesh. The moneylender was probably eying the girl and lend them money to get them into this trap. The girl was fortunate to notice the trick and manage to get away with it due to her quick thinking. But this only happens in fairy tales. BEWARE don't borrow from AH Loong or Chettiars or even from credit card of reputable Banks

  1. says:

    cin2tan JIKA tak pinjam from AH long , can you pls be kind enough to give a loan yang lembut-lembet (macam nfc) to buy some tablets berwarna biru , MWS !!??

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear CLY

    Thank you so much for your wise response.

    In reality, I love this story for there are so many lessons which we can learn.

    Your advice is most timely and I pray that those who are tempted to borrow $$ will refrain from it.

    I always tell my boys neither a borrower or a lender be.

    Take care and God bless you and yours.

    Have a resstful evening and stay in touch!

    Best wishes

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear cin2tan

    LOL!! Thank you for that response! :-) Truly resonates with reality :-).

    Hope all is well with u and you are not too tired with housework.

    Rest well and have a IWC on me. :-)


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