You have been a capture of a barbaric tribe for many days. You have survived many challenges. But your hardship is not yet over. It is the fourth chapter of the story, and you are one of the few survivors still left.
After the last of the survivors have been brought before the tribal leader, and spoken their sentences, you are once again moved to your cage, where you are kept prisoner. Only you and one other person is still alive.
You start talking to the other person and soon learns he is smart and willing to do anything to survive.
After a few hours one of the guards walks up to the cage to explain the next challenge you will face. He starts by presenting you with a few herbs and explains:
“These herbs are all poisonous. So much so, that making a tea of any combination of these, will kill a man in just a few minutes. There is however a feature of the herbs that is most unusual: The only antidote for the poisonous tea, is a stronger poisonous tea!
Your next challenge is to each make the strongest poisonous tea that you possibly can, with the herbs presented. Tomorrow at noon, you will both be brought to the tribal Chief and there you will first drink from the other persons tea and then from your own. The person who made the strongest tea will survives, and the other will die! The one who survives will be granted his freedom.”
You look at your cellmate. This is your chance to earn your freedom, but you have to kill this other man. And you have to make a stronger tea, from herbs you have never seen before. That way you will first be forced to drink your opponent’s weaker poisonous tea, and then your own stronger one, which will work as an antidote.
The guard separates you, so you can not communicate about the tea brewing and you both start experimenting with the herbs.
You know that you can easily make a tea much stronger than the other guy, since you learned that you know much more about herbs and tea than him. But he knows the same thing, and you also know that he would do anything to win. You are fairly certain that he will come up with some cunning plan to beat the odds stacked against him.
After careful consideration, you realize the only plan your opponent could have made, and you quickly come up with a counter plan to ensure your survival.
The hours fly and soon the sun stands at its highest. The tribal guard collects you and your tea and brings you to the Chief.
You and your opponent are both forced to drink the others tea, and then your own, immediately after. As soon as you taste the tea of your opponent, you realize that you were right and that you plan has worked. A few minutes later your opponent dies, and the tribal Chief congratulates you on your freedom.
What was the plan that your opponent thought would save his life? And what was the counter plan that you used to save your own? Who made the strongest tea?
Think about that; and stay tuned for chapter five.