by David Birch, pictures by Devis Grebu
An Indian potentate receives a service from a wiseman and insists on repaying the favor. The wiseman requests the familiar mathematical puzzle of the chessboard, on whose first square is placed a single grain of rice, on whose second square is placed two grains, four on the third square, and so on.
The king, who is too proud to admit that he can't calculate the sum total of the gift, foolishly grants the wish, at least until it becomes clear that it will wipe out his stock.
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