There were three medieval kingdoms on the
shores of a lake.
There was an island in the middle of the lake, which the
kingdoms had been fighting over for years. Finally, the three
kings decided that they would send their knights out to do
battle, and the winner would take the island.
The night before the battle, the knights and their squires
pitched camp and readied themselves for the fight. The first
kingdom had 12 knights, and each knight had five squires, all of
whom were busily polishing armor, brushing horses, and cooking
The second kingdom had 20 knights, and each knight had 10
squires. Everyone at that camp was also busy preparing for
At the camp of the third kingdom, there was only one
knight, with his squire. This squire took a large pot and hung
it from a looped rope in a tall tree. He busied himself
preparing the meal, while the knight polished his own armor.
When the hour of the battle came, the three kingdoms sent their
squires out to fight (this was too trivial a matter for the
knights to join in). The battle raged, and when the dust
cleared, the only person left was the lone squire from the third
kingdom, having defeated the squires from the other two kingdoms,
thus proving that the squire of the high pot and noose is equal
to the sum of the squires of the other two sides.