29 Nov

“The Farmer Had An Ugly Daughter”

There was a very wealthy Apple grower who had a real ugly daughter.  He was desperate to have her marry.  He came up with a plan that made sense, but he also wanted to assure himself that  the suitor would have sense enough to come in from the rain. One Sunday he invited the three most likely to dinner. They all came. She was ugly, but her daddy was very rich and there was always the paper sack.  Dinner completed, the farmer stood and said, “ You all are perfect as sons-in-law, but you must solve this riddle to win the hand of Gertrude. I have three Apple orchards separated by gates. I will give you a basket and this is how we play:

You each will go to the third orchard with your basket and pick a specific number of apples and leave half-the-apples PLUS half-an-apple at the third gate, continue to the second gate, leaving half the remaining apples PLUS half-an-Apple, and progress to the last gate, leaving half the remaining apples PLUS half-an-apple, and return with one whole apple. The men looked at each other and in chorus asked, “Where is our knife?”   “There is no knife”, was his response.

How many apples did they need to pick in the third orchard?

And that’s what I get from my Box of Chocolates right here in my little corner studio under the shadow of Kyle Field.


James G Austin, ‘69

* The email will not be published on the website.