Tale of Two Pebbles

A dear friend, Hannah, emailed me this story which I think is real interesting. Some of you may have already read it before, but it's such a good read that's worth a second look :)

For those of you first time reading this story, there's a question at the bottom I'm interested to get your reply about... so if you have the time, I'd like to read your input hehe :P

(Answers will be posted on Tuesday 10th March 2009)


Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain.

He said he would forgo 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) 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 asked 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 make 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?

posted @ 5.3.09,


At March 5, 2009 at 8:36 PM, Blogger Harding said...

flo..nothing to do with the post this, just wan to inform u that i had reunion with Jun Bong in KL the other day...later i post the photos in my blog...

At March 8, 2009 at 4:13 PM, Blogger Ratu Syura said...

C. Pindah jauh2 with the father!!


No la, I think I would reveal that he's a cheat. And then kill him!! OMG. I dunno. :P

At March 9, 2009 at 4:27 PM, Blogger Nessa said...

I've been thinking hard what the girl should do. Mati2 mo think outside the box but I just can't come up with a solution :(

I can't wait to know the answer!

At March 10, 2009 at 8:12 AM, Blogger FloDawn said...

Hi Harding aka John-Boy... looking forward to see your photos! :))

At March 10, 2009 at 8:14 AM, Blogger FloDawn said...

Hewo Syura & Nessa :)
Thanks for your responses hehehe...
Very thought provoking kan :P
I was rendered blank also when I tried to think of a 'solution'...

Well, see my latest entry for the answer hehehe... senang lar pula cis!

At February 5, 2010 at 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi friend

Do you know what is the original source of this story?
I have about six solutions to the girls problem, but let us see if this posting will work first.


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