Category Archives: Better Living

A Horse Trade Story

u32_jacob-hamblin-bustWhen I was a young child I lived in Kanab, Utah and loved the feel of living in a small town where you could roam free and not be in danger of many things. Below is a story as told by Jacob Hamblin a Mormon pioneer and resident of this little town in southern Utah.

When I was about twelve years old our family lived in Kanab, Utah. A band of Piute Indians were camped a few miles away, across the wash. My father, Jacob Hamblin, the Indian missionary, said to me, “son, I want you to go to the indian camp this afternoon and trade the little bay pony for some blankets, which we will need this winter.”

When the midday meal was over, I climbed astride old, Billy, led the little bay pony, and rode bareback across the flat toward the Indian camp.

When I rode in, the chief helped me off the horse and asked, “you Jacob’s boy. What you want?”

When I told him my errand, he looked at the trade pony and grunted his assent. He led to to his wigwam where there was a pile of handwoven Indian blankets. He piled out a number of them. Determined to show my father that I was a good trader, I asked for another blanket. The chief looked at me out of the corner of his eye and added another blanket to the pile. Then I asked for another and another and still another. By now the chief was grinning broadly but added as many blankets as I demanded.

Satisfied that I had really made a good trade, I closed the deal. The chief piled the blankets on the back of old Billy and lifted me up.

Father met me in the yard and looked at the blankets. Then he made two piles of about equal size. One pile he placed on the horse and put me back on, saying, “Go back and these to the chief. You got enough blankets for two horses.”

As I approached the camp, I could see the old chief. When I rode up, he laughed out loud and said, “I know Jacob sent you back. He is an honest man. He my father as well as your father.”

Several years later when Jacob was alone with a band of angry, hostile Indians, the fact that he had always been honest with them saved his life.

Louise Lee Udall, as told by Jacob Hamblin, Jr.

Jacob Hamblin, was a wonderful example to many people.

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Thinking Out of the Box

In a small Italian town, hundreds of years ago, a small business owner owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy that just so happened to fancy the business owner’s daughter. He decided to offer the businessman a deal that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. However, the catch was that he would only wipe out the debt if he could marry the businessman’s daughter. Needless to say, this proposal was met with a look of disgust.

The loan-shark said that he would place two pebbles into a bag, one white and one black. The daughter would then have to reach into the bag and pick out a pebble. If it was black, the debt would be wiped out, but the loan-shark would then marry her. If it was white, the debt would also be wiped out, 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 he was picking them up, the daughter noticed that he’d picked up two black pebbles and placed them both into the bag. He then asked the daughter to reach into the bag and pick one.

The daughter naturally had three choices as to what she could have done:
1. Refuse to pick a pebble from the bag.
2. Take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan-shark for cheating.
3. Pick a pebble from the bag fully well knowing 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. She said to the loan-shark; “Oh how clumsy of me . Never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked. “the pebble left in the bag is obviously black, and seeing as the loan-shark didn’t want to be exposed, he had to play along as if the pebble the daughter dropped was white, and clear her father’s dept.

Moral of the story:
It’s always possible to overcome a tough situation through out of the box thinking, and not give in to the only options you think you have to pick from. Creative thinking becomes the best way out of a difficult situation.

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