The Two Pebbles ~ A Story on Creative Thinking

Once upon a time, there lived a small business owner called Ravi. He owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy who happened to fancy Ravi’s daughter, Tanya.

He decided to offer Ravi a deal that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. However, the catch was that he would only wipe out the debt if he could marry Tanya.

Needless to say, this proposal was met with a look of disgust. But Ravi decided to hear him out.

The loan-shark said that he would place two pebbles into a bag, one white and one black. Tanya would then have to reach into the bag and pick out a pebble. If it was black, the debt would be wiped, but the loan-shark would then marry her. If it was white, the debt would also be wiped, but the daughter wouldn’t have to marry the loan-shark.

Standing on a pebble-strewn path in Ravi’s garden, the loan-shark bent over and picked up two pebbles.

Whilst he was picking them up, Tanya noticed that he’d picked up two black pebbles and placed them both into the bag.

Then, she was asked to reach into the bag and pick one pebble. She was worried and quickly thought about the choices she had:

  1. Refuse to pick a pebble from the bag.
  2. Take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan-shark for cheating.
  3. Pick a pebble from the bag fully well knowing it was black and sacrifice herself for her father’s freedom.

Thinking on her feet, she drew out a pebble from the bag, and before looking at it  – ‘accidentally’ dropped it into the midst of the other pebbles.

She said to the loan-shark,

“Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”

The pebble left in the bag was obviously black and seeing as the loan-shark didn’t want to be exposed, he had to play along as if the pebble the daughter dropped was white, and clear her father’s debt. Her quick-thinking and creativity helped her come out of this tough situation with the best outcome for herself and her father!

Moral of the story:

It’s always possible to overcome a tough situation through – out of the box thinking, and not give in to the only options you think you have to pick from. If you use your creativity, you can find an innovative solution to the problem at hand!

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