There was a man who had lost his wife. He had two daughters whom he lovingly took care of by himself. He saw to give them the very best education and knowledge possible. These two girls were as intelligent as they were curious, and were constantly asking questions to their father. Some times he did know the answers and some times he didn’t.
On a certain day, he sent the two siblings away to stay for a time with a wise old man up in the hill. He wanted them to learn from his wisdom. The wise man would answer any question promptly and confidently with the correct answers. This had the girls a little impatient with him and one day, they decided to play a trick on him. They would create a situation in which he wouldn’t know the answer to the question.
So one of the girls appeared with a beautiful butterfly. It was indigo blue with black spots on each wing and looked really majestic. She would use it to fool the old man. What are you going to do with it?” – her sister asked.
“I’m going to hide the butterfly inside my hands so he doesn’t see it. Then I’m going to ask him if the butterfly is dead or alive” , she replied proudly.
If he answers that it is dead, I will open wide my hands so he can appreciate it alive. If he answers that it is alive, I will put pressure onto it so it will die and then show it to him. What ever he answers, he will be wrong. So the two girls went to see him at his place were he was meditating. “I’ve got a butterfly in my hands, wise man… Tell me, is it dead or alive?” she asked.
He, calmly, and with a smile in his face he just answered – “It depends on you… It’s in your hands.”