In a small Italian town, hundreds of years ago, a small business owner owed a large sum of money to an old, unattractive loan shark who had a liking for the business owner’s daughter.
If it was black, the debt would be wiped out and the loan shark would marry her but if it was white, the debt would be wiped, but the daughter wouldn’t have to marry the loan shark.
Standing on a pebble-strewn path in the businessman’s garden, the loan shark bent over and picked up two pebbles. While picking up the pebbles, the daughter noticed that he picked up two black ones and placed them into the bag and asked the daughter to pick one.
She had three choices as to what to do: Refuse to pick the pebble; Take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan shark for cheating; Pick a pebble from the bag knowing well it was black and sacrifice herself for her father’s freedom.
She drew out a pebble from the bag, and before looking at it, ‘accidentally’ dropped it into the midst of the other pebbles and turning to the loan shark said,” Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you check in the bag, you will be able to tell which one I picked.”
The pebble left was obviously black, and in order not to be exposed, the loan shark cleared her father’s debt.