Once upon a time, there was a kind merchant, who had a beautiful daughter. But the merchant suffered losses in his business and had to borrow money from a nasty old miser. He had been eyeing the merchant’s daughter for some time.

When he had lent the merchant the money, he had a condition that if the merchant was unable to pay him back, his daughter will have to marry the old man. The merchant pleaded with the old man to spare his daughter. The old man then told the merchant that it can be sorted easily.

There would be two bags, one containing a white marble and the other containing a black one. The merchant’s daughter had to choose one. If she got the white marble, then she is free and the merchant doesn’t have to repay the money. However, if she got the black one, then she will have to marry him, but the merchant need not repay his debt. And in case, she doesn’t pick any, not only will he have to repay the old man, but also be his prisoner for life.

With a heavy heart, the merchant went home and told his daughter about the grave situation they were in. The daughter was a clever girl and assured her father that they would find a way. When she went to the old man’s house, she saw that there were many white and black marbles in his yard. She was sharp. She saw that the old man had put two black marbles in both the bags. She had an idea. She took one of the bags and while taking the marble out, she dropped it in the yard. It got mixed with the other marbles.

“How clumsy of me!” she said. “The marble fell down before we could see it.” But she said it was okay as the other bag was intact and the marble inside that bag would help them know which one she had picked. When they checked the other bag, they found a black marble and it was assumed that she had indeed picked a white marble.

The old man couldn’t refute it as his foul play would also be found out. Thus the girl managed to save herself and her father.

J. Vaishnavi, VIII F, Bhashyam High School, R.K. Puram, Hyderabad