Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Crow and the Pitcher - Reloaded

The Thirsty Crow and the Pitcher [Photo courtesy: Sonik Mishra]

All of us grew up hearing fables and stories. The tale of the thirsty crow and the pitcher is one of those oft repeated ones.

Here's a new version from "Complete the Story" section of
Once there was a crow that was very thirsty. It saw a pot on the terrace of a building. It looked inside the pot to see whether there is any water left. Yes! There was little water at the bottom. He remembered the story of the clever crow that had picked up small stones and put inside the pot to raise the water level up. The crow too looked around for small stones. Unfortunately there were no stones around. It was too tired to fly down to bring stones. It looked around and saw an old sofa lying at the other end of the terrace. It seems some one had discarded it as its spring and sponge had come out. It tried to pull out the springs but no success. The crow thought, “If I put the sponge in the pot it will absorb all the water and I won’t get even a single drop of water.” But the crow was determined to get the water from the pot? But how?
Here's the researcher's dig at completing the story.

Somebody might have faced a certain problem and found the solution with his ingenuity. His approach might have been well documented and appreciated. Years later somebody else might face the same problem with a slight change in circumstances. But it is this slight change that could require a distinctly different approach to solving the problem. Trying to follow the proven approach doesn't always work!

In this case, pebbles aren't available to the crow. So it starts looking around for things it can put inside the pot to bring up the water level. Essentially, it's following the same approach as its predecessor. Actually it doesn't even need the pebbles if it were to realize that it can easily put its head inside the pot and drink the water! The earlier crow didn't have that option as the pitcher had a narrow neck that didn't allow the crow's beak to reach the water.

The earlier crow with the narrow-neck pitcher.


  1. mebbe pots are being made with wider necks these days to save thirsty crows from the hardwork

  2. @ Sonik
    I wish man was really so considerate to animals.