Columbus And The Egg
: COLUMBUS DAY
: Good Stories For Great Holidays
BY JAMES BALDWIN (ADAPTED) 
One day Columbus was at a dinner which a Spanish gentleman had given
in his honor, and several persons were present who were jealous of the
great admiral's success. They were proud, conceited fellows, and they
very soon began to try to make Columbus uncomfortable.
"You have discovered strange lands beyond the seas," they said, "but
at of that? We do not see why there should be so much said about
it. Anybody can sail across the ocean; and anybody can coast along the
islands on the other side, just as you have done. It is the simplest
thing in the world."
Columbus made no answer; but after a while he took an egg from a dish
and said to the company:--
"Who among you, gentlemen, can make this egg stand on end?"
One by one those at the table tried the experiment. When the egg had
gone entirely around and none had succeeded, all said that it could not
Then Columbus took the egg and struck its small end gently upon the
table so as to break the shell a little. After that there was no trouble
in making it stand upright.
"Gentlemen," said he, "what is easier than to do this which you said
was impossible? It is the simplest thing in the world. Anybody can do
it,--AFTER HE HAS BEEN SHOWN HOW!"