The Two Travellers and The Oyster

Two Travelers disputed who owned the Oyster they found. A third Traveler judged the dispute, handed each a shell, and ate the Oyster as payment. Ooops!

Justice is in the eye of the beholder.

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Travelers and Oyster

Ernest Griset (1874)

As two Men were walking by the sea-side at low water, they saw an Oyster, and they both stooped at the same time to pick it up. One pushed the other away, and a dispute ensued. A third Traveller coming along at the time, they determined to refer the matter to him, which of the two had the better right to the Oyster. While they were each telling his story, the Arbitrator gravely took out his knife, opened the shell, and loosened the Oyster. When they had finished, and were listening for his decision, he just as gravely swallowed the Oyster, and offered them each a Shell. “The Court,” said he, “awards you each a Shell. The Oyster will cover the costs.”

[Note: This fable has a story similar to The Litigious Cats.]