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On a riverbank we see a farmer, a fox, some chicken, and some rice grains in sacks.  Now we have ourselves a riddle: the point of this familiar quandary is to come up with a series of sequence where all live stock and goods can be transported safely to the other side with use of only one raft.  Fox being the default predator with its carnivore nature will try to eat the chicken, chicken the grain, etc.  Therefore those pairs are not be paired by themselves (solution: put the fox with the grain).  The river is its usual calm; no danger of topside or drift too far downstream.  The fox knows this fact because it goes back and forth between the banks of the river many times, escorting and been escorted.

People and things always travel for good reasons.  So we must ask ourselves before we committed the passenger list:  why are they crossing the river?  What is there for the chicken? Or for the fox?  We go from Point A to Point B because A isn’t B.  (Otherwise that’s just two Point As)  Chicken crossing a river makes some sense.  They are livestock.  They can be sold for profit.  They can be eaten as food.  They guarantee a family nutritions when exchange with monetary means.  They are common goods that are often transported from Point A (producer) to Point B (supermarket).  Then if price and demand meet at a point, chicken is once again transported to Point C (customers).  Chickens are always going somewhere.  Even in silly jokes they are crossing roads. Chickens, especially in riddles, are extremely busy creatures.  Always testing limits and dangers.  In real life, not so much.

Fox, on the other hand, is less busy.  He even appears as the lazy stereotypes in tall tales of magical animal kingdoms.  But we know he usually has some tricks up his sleeves.  What is fox up to now, we say.  What is he up to these days?  What is that fox doing with the farmer? What is the conspiracy?  What is that fox doing with bunch of busy chicken? What is Point B to a fox?  Is Point C even relevant?  How is he been marketed?  How does he feel about being the default fault guy?  Is he tired of that the same role?  There are a lot of questions concerning this slightly suspicious, fury creature.

Drawing by Jamie Chan