Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
July 2020
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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!

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2 guesses to The Old Miner

  • 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!

    Smile

  • 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.