Wisdom story: The greatest liar challenge

4 min readMay 19

There once lived a very stingy and shrewd businessman who thought that he was more clever than the rest. He was a tough negotiator and in every deal he made he had to have the upper hand or he would back out. His reputation as a tough negotiator and a successful businessman spread across the land, but that is not all. Word also spread about his beautiful daughter, which the businessman cared about the most and was very protective of. She was the only person that he didn’t say no to and was willing to do anything to make her happy. Soon the daughter grew up and wanted to get married, but her father was not ready to let her go. So he devised a challenge and told his daughter that she may marry any man that wins it. The challenge was simple, the challenger can tell the shrewd businessman two very good lies and make him say “That is a lie,” at least for one of them. But on the other hand, if the challenger doesn’t succeed in doing so he has to work for free for one year in the fields. The word of the challenge spread like wildfire and many young men couldn’t resist the chance to win a marriage to such a beautiful young woman, not to mention to be entitled to inherit all the wealth of the businessman when he dies. Many men accepted the challenge but no matter how good the young men thought their lies were, not one of them succeeded in getting the businessman to say “That is a lie.”

Some time passed and a good number of unfortunate young men were already sweating on the shrewd businessman’s fields when another young suitor appeared at his door wanting to win the challenge. “Allow me, please, to tell you a lie like you’ve never heard…” “Okay, try it,” the shrewd businessman willingly agreed. And without hesitation, the young man started to tell his story, “While I was on my journey here I meet some farmers who were transplanting rice seedlings. In one of the fields, I saw the farmers spread bamboo mats over the newly planted rice seedlings. I have never seen this and I found it strange so I asked them for an explanation. This is what they answered: Through the holes in the mat, the rice seedlings sprout more evenly than they would otherwise. There are no problems with weeds on the top and in the fall when harvesting, we only have to raise the mats in which only ears of rice remain. No extra work is needed, it is easy and fast.” The shrewd businessman looked at…


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