The Pebbles – AmO: Life beauty without limits… – AmO: Life beauty without limits…

September 29, 2009

Many years ago in a small village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender.

The moneylender, who was an awful, mean man, fancied the farmer’s beautiful daughter. Since the farmer was unable to pay the debt, the moneylender proposed a deal.




He said he would forgot 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. 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. He then told 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 help 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?

Well, here is what she did . . . .

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 is reasonable to 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 favorable one for herself and her father.



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Web Design 2009-06-21 05:14:49

Oh, how clumsy of me! Smart girl. I would have killed the bastard and steal all the money 😀

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Oksana 2009-06-21 06:45:37

Yes, she’s really smart, when I read this story and wanted to find a solution, I couldn’t:( But the solution seems to be so simple…

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Mia 2009-06-21 08:00:22

lovely story, smart girl, that bastard of a landlowner should rot in hell!!!

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me 2009-06-23 08:18:35

why not simply take out both pebbles and proof the dishonesty of the rich guy? that would have send a better message… the moral of this story is dull: rich are bad and try to trick you wherever possible, so you have to be clever to trick them back, so there will be at least some sort of fairness…what a great basis for an honest society!

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why is everyone hating on the
dude 2009-06-23 13:05:10

yeah he shouldn’t have tried to cheat with the pebbles, but up until that point of the story, what had he even done that was so bad? the farmer owes him the damn money.

dont swim with loan sharks if you dont wanna get bit.

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Raghavendra 2009-06-23 22:14:47

Very nice story.

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Anonymous 2009-06-24 00:31:31

clever girl…

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nv 2009-07-03 01:01:39


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Jenny 2009-07-07 09:32:18

Hey, just stopping by from stumble. Great post. 🙂 I’ll be back to read more of your updates. You seem to have a very interesting bloggy.

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Jack 2009-07-11 01:33:37

Oh so it’s cool to just take money from someone and not pay them back now?

That’s called being a thief.

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dash 2009-07-11 12:33:14

u cant drag a simple story beyond this !!!

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Planning Plants to Plant 2009-09-08 13:35:28

I am sooo glad, because that is exactly what I was thinking she should do!!! Happy ending!

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Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved.


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