The story is about a traveler who has hiked for many miles across the Desert Mountains and in doing so has completely used up his water supply. He knew that death was imminent if he didn’t find water soon. He soon came across an abandoned cabin where he discovered an old well. To the well pump was tied a can with a note inside.The note said:
“Dear stranger: This water pump is in working condition, but the pump needs to be primed in order for the water to come out. Under the white rock, I buried a jar of water, out of the sun. There’s enough water in the jar to prime the pump, but not if you drink any first.”
The Stranger was faced with a dilema of the sort we all get faced with, when there is a tempting of our faith. Given the rustiness of the pump and cabin, it was obvious that the note had been written a few years back. So the question was, even if the note were to be true as at the time it was written, how certain could the stranger be that the pump would still work? Conventional wisdom suggests he should simply drink all the water in the bottle and not risk the danger of death from thirst by pouring the water into the pump, that is if the pump didn’t work.
The stranger sat for some while and ponder over the choice he had to make and the many variables that faced him that he wasn’t in control of. What if the pump worked? Finally he chose to pour the water in the pump and started working the pump with all the energy he had left. No water came out but as he worked the pump harder, there was a burst of water and the water just kept flowing such that he jad a full fill that he needed as well as washed and soaked himself in the water.
He noticed that the note also said:
“When you are finished, please fill the jar and put it back as you found it for the next stranger who comes this way.”
He filled the bottle, corked it and place it in the original place where he foud it. Next, he took out his pen and wrote in his handwriting on the bottom part of the note:
“Please follow the instructions in this note to the letter, believe me it work
signed – weary, thirsty, almost dead traveller that got his life back by following the instructions”