never heard of it, but pretty cool.

"The Lady or the Tiger?" is a famous short story written by frank r stockton in 1882


The semi-barbaric King of an ancient land utilized an unusual form of administering justice for offenders in his kingdom. The offender would be placed in an arena where his only way out would be to go through one of two doors. Behind one door was a beautiful woman hand-picked by the king and behind the other was a fierce tiger. The offender was then asked to pick one of the doors, without knowing what was behind it. If he picked the door with the woman behind it, then he was declared innocent and as a reward he was required to marry the woman, regardless of previous marital status. If he picked the door with the tiger behind it, though, then he was deemed guilty and the tiger would rip him to pieces.

One day the king found that his daughter, the princess, had taken a lover far beneath her station. The king could not allow this and so he threw the offender in prison and set a date for his trial in the arena. On the day of his trial the suitor looked to the princess for some indication of which door to pick. The princess, did, in fact, know which door concealed the woman and which one the tiger, but was faced with a conundrum. If she indicated the door with the tiger, then the man she loved would be killed on the spot; however, if she indicated the door with the lady, her lover would be forced to marry another woman and even though he would be alive she would never be with him again. Finally she does indicate a door, which the suitor then opens.

At this point the question is posed to the reader, "Did the tiger come out of that door, or did the lady?".

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10 Responses to never heard of it, but pretty cool.

  1. AmyH says:

    ACK! You can't do that!!! Tell us!!!
    This story sounds familiar, but as with 90% of all jokes I've heard, I can't remember how it ends.

  2. thats the thing, it doesnt tell you.
    i feel cheated as well.
    like the end of the sopranos.

  3. AmyH says:

    Really? There's no answer? Wow.
    Maybe we're supposed to make our own judgement calls, but that's a lot of responsibility to put on us, members of the general public. I like my morality handed to me in simplistic terms my little brain can easily grasp.

  4. Jamie says:

    I think the lady was behind the door. That's what I'd do anyhow. It wasn't even hard. I'd rather DeWitte be alive and never see him again (as long as I knew it.), then die a brutal death.

  5. AmyH says:

    When you put real people into the story, it's a bit heartbreaking. I'm feeling really sad for you and DeWitte, just from a hypothetical! 😦
    I have some former loves that I would be very tempted to send to the tiger, though…

  6. id send my girlfriend to the lady as well.
    but i wouldnt want her to enjoy the relationship. id really want her to be miserable but alive. i think thats fair.
    she says she'd rather be dead than miserable.
    i think we need a third door….

  7. Jando says:

    I think lady – then at least the princess could do her in at a later date and get her suitor back. Always play the long game, that's me.

  8. No contest, the door with the lady. As long as she really is beautiful, and is also intelligent, industrious with housework, and bisexual and into threesomes, I am perfectly happy about that alternative.

  9. mariser says:

    "Did the tiger come out of that door, or did the lady?"
    I hope the lady.
    neat story.

  10. Lauri says:

    Ha! One of those brain cramp stories!
    Of course it would probably depend on what time of the month it was, too. If the princess was PMSing it could go poorly for her lover.

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