Thursday, June 26, 2008


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 Proprosal.

So the cunning moneylender suggested that they let the village elders to 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.

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 3 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?

Something2Share …..

Someone, knowing that if the girl refused to pick a pebble or exposed the moneylender as a cheat, her father would be thrown into jail, suggested that the girl took a white pebble hidden in her hand. Put her hand into the bag and pull it out quickly showing the white pebble in her hand.
The suggestion seemed to be a good recommendation to the girl if the hidden pebble in her hand was not noticed by the moneylender.

Question is this moneylender was cunning. Surely he would have checked the girl’s hand before allowing her putting it into the bag to pick a pebble.

Was it no choice for the girl but had to pick one of the black pebbles to save her father and married to the old ugly moneylender? Surely there is a way out.

Keep thinking literally, OK?


Vincent Hee said...

I would say the girl should say since the moneylender is a potential husand, it is rightful for him to decide and pick a pebble from the bag witnessed by all and should the moneylender pick a white pebble,she would marry him and serve him til he fall dead. Hahahaha

Alan Lee said...

Aiyah, very simple. Ask the girl to pick up the pebble and grip in her hand and pretend to be very sad and quickly throw it to the river. Thereafter, tell the villager that the remaining in the bag will be the answer. Surely it will be black, therefore the thrown will be white. Brilliant huh!

Ng SP said...

The monaylender has not mention that the girl can only take out 1 pebble, so ; she just take out both the pebbles from the bag to show that the man is cheating. Am I right?

KC said...

Let GOD do his work. She will be guided to make a decision.

Narayanan Kunjan said...

Dear Pak

the answer is this... aiya so simple :

The gal is also smart ma... knowing thou at both are of the same colour she drops one stone accidentally and is lost ...then she says it is ok...... since 1 is black & the other is white & since the black one is still in the bag she definitely picked out the white one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You may be wondering what took me so long .........just opened!!!!!