In a kindergarten classroom, a young substitute teacher posed a mathematical question to her class:
“There are 10 birds in a tree and a hunter shoots one bird. How many birds are left in the tree?”
One child asks: “Is it a silent pistol or a silent gun?”
The teacher answers: “It is neither a silent pistol nor a silent gun.”
Another child asks: “How loud is the gun?”
The teacher answers: “It is about 80 to 100 decibels (db).”
Then, one by one, a series ingenious queries are raised by the children:
“Are any of the birds deaf?”
“Are any of the birds handicapped and can’t fly?”
“Is it possible that one shot kills two birds?”
“Is it possible that a bird is heartbroken on seeing its dead lover?”
“Are there any pregnant birds?”
The children’s never-ending questions leave the substitute teacher completely frazzled.
Finally, one child provides a sound and reasonable answer, and the teacher, relieved, says to the class:
“None of you need any more schooling. You are all qualified for government jobs in the Ministry of Education!”
Translated by Jean Chen and edited by Stefania Cox.