Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
April 2024

The Old Miner

The Old Miner
An old miner finds himself struggling to stay alive. He’s been 10 days without food, he’s weak, barely able to walk and still high up in the mountain searching for shelter before nightfall. A major snowstorm moves in to the area with plummeting temperatures and high wind. Having only a tattered sweater the minor knows hyperthermia will set in fast, it won’t be long before he expires. As he slowly makes his way along the trail he sees a small bird, trapped in the brush, he kills the bird knowing it might be the only food to help him survive. He places the bird in his pack and slowly climbs the trail. As the miner struggles to make progress and ready to give up, he finds a small cave along the trail. As he enters the cave he hears a blood curdling scream coming from somewhere in the mountain. Scared, cold, hungry and all alone the miner enters the cave. With nightfall upon him the cave is dark and he’s barely able to see. The miner stumbles and kicks over something metallic. He searches and finds an old oil stove and an oil lamp, both still filled with oil. There’s also some wood in the cave, he gathers the wood, his body temperature dropping fast, hunger has set in, death is close, darkness has consumed the cave. With weak fingers the miner opens his pack, searching for the one thing he desperately needs to survive. Losing all hope, the minor’s frostbit fingers touch the thing he’s been searching for, his last match. Cold, hungry, and consumed by darkness, the miner has only one chance for survival.

Does he light the fire, the oil lamp, or the oil stove first for survival? Only one answer is correct or the miner dies…

Thank you Jim for your submission!

Submit your Guess




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

7 guesses to The Old Miner

    Warning: Use of undefined constant bfa_comments - assumed 'bfa_comments' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/ on line 132
  • Howard Lyon

    he must first light the match before he may pick from the choices given. It is devious to omit the match from the list. To answer the question you have to look for the unstated variable

    Sorta like the old riddle:

    What weighs a thousand pounds, has a grey wrinkly skin, big ears, a trunk and two teeny yellow wings?

    Answer: An elephant. I lied about the teeny yellow wings.

    I would never ask this riddle without a clear route to safety for myself. You can get hurt otherwise!


  • Togram

    I think he has to wake up from his nightmare, pull the covers back over his shivering body, maybe after going into his kitchen to get a banana or make hot chocolate, put on flannel p.j.s and crawl back in bed.

  • Bre Bro

    the fire
    the fire can
    A:light up the cave
    B:cook the bird
    and C: give him warmth

  • Teecee

    The proper riddle is, what does he light first?

  • Paxton

    Assuming the miner can succesfully light it, the fire does everything the other two can do, and can be used to then light the others.

    In reality he needs to light the match itself first.

  • robert cg

    he lights the match but i’ve heard it before

  • Eva

    He can use the wood he gathered to light the fire and leave one piece behind to light the stove and the oil lamp so he can survive this way.