Posted Under: teaching stories
There was once an evil usurious money lender (you know the type who charged one tenth the interest that modern banks charge us)….
He had lent money to a kindly merchant. Unfortunately the merchants ships had sunk in a storm. Now, in those days people who defaulted their debts would go to debtor’s prison.
The lecherous money lender made a proposal to the merchant.
He said that he would forgive the merchant’s debt if the his daughter took an even bet with him. If she won her father’s debts were to be forgiven but if she lost she would have to be the money lender’s bride.
The money lender said that the young lady has to chose a white pebble out of a black and white one placed in a money bag.
If she chose the white pebble correctly her father’s debts would be forgiven. If she chose the black pebble, she would have to marry the evil money lender.
Now here was the problem.
The merchant’s daughter noticed that the money lender has placed two black pebbles in the bag. So here was an impossible situation:
If she revealed the cheating her father would go to the debtors prison and if she meekly picked one of the black pebbles it would force her to marry the nasty old money lender.
Think for a moment – if you were the young lady what would you do?
The merchant’s daughter put her hand in the bag and drew out a pebble and without looking at it she fumbled and let it fall to the path where it was lost among the other pebbles.
She smiled sweetly and said, “How clumsy of me, but never mind if you look into the bag you’ll be able to tell which pebble I took by the color of the one left.”
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