A Second Aha! Experience

1. “Counselor Wechsler – please rise and listen carefully.
How many legs does a lamb have?”

2. “Dean Reppy, I have never personally met a lamb and
counted his/her limbs. I defer to someone with farm experience.”

3. “You have seen pictures, movies, videos of lambs, is that correct?”
You do not deny the lamb creature in question has legs?”

4. “Yes, Dean Reppy, but I never stopped in midstream to count their
legs, which undoubtedly propels its lamb body.”

5. “Based on your remembered observations, could you assist us with
your estimate of the number of legs a lamb has? We accept it as only a probability
based on no personal encounter with any specific lamb.”

6. “Dean Reppy, if I am correct, a lamb is a young sheep (male or female). From
hearsay and based on the secondary evidence of visual aids, my estimate to your
query is four (4) legs. But it is not based on primary, personal evidence.”

7. “Aha, now we are getting somewhere. We respect your reluctance based on an absence of farm experience. Now, listen carefully, If-a-Tail-is-Counted-as-a-Leg,
Query – how legs does a lamb have?”

8. I was absolutely certain Dean Alison Reppy, international scholar, and senior
Dean of New York Law School had set a trap for this freshman law student.
He was not going to let me off the hook, no matter how hard I wriggled.

9. “Dean Reppy, I admit being ignorant of the limbs of farm animals. I add to that
proviso that I am equally untutored in the fundamentals of the law. This is my freshman year, and I hope to do better in the future, sir.”

10. “We require your response, counselor Wechsler.”

11. “May I respectfully demur from answering agricultural questions about the tails of animals?”

12. “Overruled Counselor.”

13. “ If a tail is counted as a leg, and the lamb has four legs, then this particular lamb walks around on Five (5) legs, Dean Reppy.”

14. “Class, please pay particular attention to this explanation, your entire law career
may be at stake. This is an Aha! Experience. A lamb for these past millennia is hardwired to walk on four legs – it is genetic and biologically evolved thus.
Class – please repeat aloud with me.

Saying so does not MAKE it so. A leg is a leg, and a tail is a tail – a lamb has four (4) legs – now and forever.”

15. “Counselor Wechsler – a lamb has four legs. If its tail is counted as a leg,
how many legs does a lamb have?”

16. “Dean Reppy, no matter who says a tail may be counted as a leg, even a distinguished legal scholar like the head of New York Law School or the President
of the United States. A leg is a leg, and a tail remains a tail, and this damned lamb
will always have a total of four legs.

Wait – unless one or more legs are surgically removed for cooking – Dean Reppy.”

17. “In behalf of the legal community and the farm community of the state of Missouri, where I reside, Counselor Wechsler, you have experienced an Aha! moment. Remember it sir.”

18. He got me good – Dean Reppy turned me into a Skeptic, Contrarian, and
Doubting Thomas - for the rest of my life. Saying so – now-and-forever - does not
make it so. If you are without evidence, proof or replicable experiments – Shut Up!

copyright © 2009 H. Bernard Wechsler

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Barron's.
Business partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of speed reading. Graduating
two-million, including the White House staffs of four U.S. Presidents.