(Image from http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/middletonlakes/m/middletonlakes-mediagallery/765852.aspx)
I don’t know where I got this from:-
Once there was an old man who always had witty and wise answers for people who asked him anything.
Someone came to him with his hands covering something he was holding. He told the sage that he had a small, newly hatched bird in his hands. He challenged the old man to tell him whether the bird was alive or dead.
He, of course, planned to prove the old man wrong, because if he said the bird was dead, he would simply open his hands to expose a perfectly healthy baby bird. But if he said the bird was alive, then he would crush the bird before opening his hands.
The old man proved wiser than he thought, because he said, “The bird is whatever you choose him to be.”