The argument sticks

An iroquois tale

Two Iroquois boys were arguing. Neither would admit he was wrong. They were about to come to blows over this.

Their mother gave them three sticks:

“These are special Argument Sticks. They will solve this argument for you. Set your sticks up in the woods, leaning one against the other so they all stand up.

Leave them there for one month. If they fall over toward the north, the one who sets up the northern stick is right in this matter. If they fall over toward the south, the one who sets up the southern stick is right in this matter. “

The boys took their sticks into the woods and set them up. They were satisfied that this would solve their argument.

A month later the boys remembered their Argument Sticks. They went into the woods to find out who had won the argument.

The sticks had fallen in a heap and begun to rot. There was no winner.

And the boys couldn’t remember what the argument had been about in the first place.

M. R. M.

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