Not a Joke Really - Just Some Wise Advice!

Submitted by IN SEINE
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Sunday, 30 January 2011

Many years ago, a small town merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, proposed a bargain: he would forgo the merchant's debt if he could marry the merchant's lovely daughter.

Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal and turned it down. The cunning money lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He said that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender's wife and her father's debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble she would become the moneylender's wife and the debt would stand.

They were standing on a pebble-strewn path in the merchant's garden. 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 her pebble from the bag.

Thinking quickly, the girl put her hand into the bag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled, letting it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me!" she said. "But never mind. Look!
The pebble remaining in the bag is black, so I must have picked the white one!"

And the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Most complex problems have a solution, but sometimes we have to think about them in a different way.

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