Shishu Sansaar | Children's Stories
Many years ago in a small Indian village, there lived a poor farmer.
He had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The moneylender, who was an old and ugly man, fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer's debt if he would marry his daughter to him. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.
(1) If she picked the black pebble, she would marry the moneylender and her
father's debt would be forgiven.
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 :--
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?
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 must be 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 advantageous one.
Most complex problems do have a solution. It is only that we don't attempt to think...
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/04/13