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Columbus and the Egg

Christopher Columbus was an Italian who discovered America in 1492. For years he had been laughed at a foolish dreamer for trying to find India by sailing westward, but at last the king and queen of Spain gave him three ships so he could make the trial voyage. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean and discovered lands and people that he thought were Indians. He believed that these lands were part of India.

When he returned home with the news that he had found India by sailing west, there was great rejoicing. The king and queen welcomed him to their palace and listened with pleasure to the story his voyage. Never had so great respect been shown to any common man, for he had found a way to India, rich in spices and herbs and much else that was treasured immensely at the time.

But there were some who dared to ask, "Could not any other seaman sail across the ocean just as he has done?"

One day the grand cardinal of Spain gave a dinner to honour Columbus. A courtier who was jealous of the Italian's success, began to say:

"You have discovered lands beyond the sea," they said. "But what of that? Anybody with a large ship and crew, sail and skills can sail across the ocean as you have done."

Columbus did not answer; but after a while he took an egg from a dish and said to the company, "Who among you can make this egg stand on end?"

One by one those at the table tried to do it. When the egg had gone entirely around and none had succeeded, all said that it could not be done.

Then Columbus took the egg and struck its small end gently upon the table so as to break the shell just a little, so as to flatten its end. After that he had no trouble in making it stand upright on that part.

Once he had shown the way, anyone could follow it.

(Baldwin 8-9)

Einstein's second greatest idea

Albert Einstein once declared that his second greatest idea after the theory of relativity was to add an egg while cooking soup in order to produce a soft-boiled egg without having an extra pot to wash.

Our egg man!

In retirement, the American educator John Dewey sold eggs and vegetables to his neighbours on Long Island. On one occasion he received an urgent call from a wealthy neighbour for a dozen eggs. There were no children available to take them around, so Dewey delivered them himself. He went from force of habit to the front door, but was told sharply to make deliveries at the back.

Sometime later he was giving a talk to a local women's club and as he rose to speak was amused to hear his rich customer saying in a stage whisper to her neighbour, "Why, he looks exactly like our egg man!"



"What will it be?" twittered the waitress.

"All I care for is a piece of toast, a couple of eggs and a few kinds words," said the dyspeptic.

The young lady brought the toast and eggs.

"How about the kind words?" asked the gloomy one.

"Don't eat the eggs!" whispered the waitress.

(1500 Anecdotes . . .)


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