Dr. Sam Edelstein, a homeopath, was deciding which of the items to select today. Before him, as always, were placed two toads, three plant roots, four beetles, three eggs and a dead snake.
Dr. Sam Edelstein’s task was to select none or more of any of the five different types of item, but at least one, which should be different from what he had selected yesterday – this was required for the magic potion to work.
If he could keep this up for a year without any error of duplication, they would let him go. Otherwise they would cook him.
The Gagawugu tribe lived isolated from more civilized tribes and Dr. Sam Edelstein had made the mistake of curing the chief’s daughter Lala, whom he had found lying unconscious with an arm turning black from septicemia, but having done so using incomprehensible means considered offensive to the guiding nature spirits by shamans – and, not least, without permission from the tribe’s head shaman Oloo.
Dr. Sam Edelstein had cured lovely Lala with a couple of Pyrogen 200C pills he took from his emergency remedy kit.
An inter-tribal committee of shamans had concurred with Oloo that an offense against the ruling nature spirits had been committed and must be punished. So, Dr. Sam Edelstein had been sentenced to the cooking pot.
However, Oloo needed someone to select ingredients for his potions, and after earnest supplications from the now cured Lala, who had taken a shine to Dr. Edelstein, the sentence had been mitigated to making daily ingredient selections for Oloo.
If Dr. Sam Edelstein could perform his task without error until the sun returned to the same annual place in the sky, he would be released – but fattened up in the meantime.
While picking the daily items, Dr. Sam Edelstein was fervently hoping that his assistant Jacques Devereaux, who had run off when the natives approached, would bring a rescue team.
Do you think it will be possible for Dr. Sam Edelstein to select different groups of ingredients for Oloo’s concoctions for an entire year, or will he wind up in the cooking pot?