Would you rather Fight 1 horse-sized Duck or 100 duck-sized Horses?

There are two ways to take this question: literally and figuratively.

As a figure, the question can be rephrased: Would you rather confront 1 big problem or 100 small problems? Assuming you can solve the problems, once confronted: Is it better to solve one big problem, or to solve lots of small problems?

If you could solve 100 small problems in your life, that would be very helpful. On the other hand, 1 large problem can make your life substantially worse, and solving it would be a big relief. So that is quite a dilemma.

Well, I personally would want to solve the 1 big problem because life always offers lots of little problems from time to time. And even when the small problems are not solvable, they are bearable. But if the big problem turns out to be unsolvable, at least in the short term, the next best choice is to go after one little problem after another, and make your life a little better every day. Then, maybe later on, the big problem will become solvable.

As a literal question, small horses or a large duck, the answer is as amusing as it is unrealistic. I’m going to assume that the 100 small horses and also the 1 giant duck are all very aggressive.

I’d rather fight one large duck. As soon as you figure out how to kill it, you can eat duck meat for a long time. Dress and butcher the duck. Throw a bunch of meat in a chest freezer. Give some to your friends and neighbors. Throw a backyard barbeque with grilled duck as the main course.

Which gun to use to kill the duck? I’m going to part from the conventional wisdom (on how to shoot a humungous duck) and say a .22LR semi-auto rifle will do the trick. Lots of headshots in succession, so you don’t ruin any of the meat.

But if you have 100 horses to fight, that requires a lot of ammo. And maybe the heads are too small for 100 headshots. Also, I’d rather eat duck than horsemeat any day. Best case scenario, with the horses, you find a way to tame them, and then give them away outside of the local grocery stores. Instead of a box of puppies, you have a box of miniature horses. The kids will think they’re cute, but the parents will freak. So it’s win-win.

Well, that’s my answer to the classic question, which I think began either with the ancient Greek poet, Homer, or perhaps with TV’s Homer Simpson. I get those two mixed up.

– Thoreau

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