The Hero That Slayed The Hydra (Part I)

The village had a problem. A hydra appeared at pits of the quarry not far away from the village and disturbed the peace and harmony that the people enjoyed for generations. A team was assembled to solve the problem. Here are their roles and responsibilities:

The wise elder - to provide strategy
The genius craftsman - to craft the best ever hydra slaying weapon ever known
The perceptive scout - to navigate and find the least perilous route to the hydra
The knowledgeable herbalist - to provide reliefs for injuries occurred during the quest
The brave hero - the man who faces the hydra alone and tasked to kill it

Everyone performed their duties to expectations and managed to lead the hero to the dreaded hydra pit relatively unscathed. With the legendary hydra slayer in his hands, the hero stood up to the 9 headed hydra alone. Everyone else fled the scene for they had fulfilled their responsibilities and could not provide anything of help to the hero. The hero fought the hydra for hours and sustained critical injuries but managed to slay the hydra with a stroke of luck and heaps of determination and courage.

Back to the village everyone is happy. It was a joyous occasion and the people held a celebration a scale never seen before in history. In the middle of the celebration, the village chief paused the celebration and announced the reward of the famous hydra-slayer team. The village managed to gather 1000 gold pieces to be divided among the team. The wise elder would receive 500 gold pieces. The craftsman, scout and herbalist would be rewarded with 150 gold pieces each. The remaining gold 50 gold pieces would be granted to the hero.

Do you think the reward was shared fairly among the participating members of the hydra-slaying team? If not, how do you think the ratio should be?


  1. This allocation of reward reflects our society. Marx would have shared it equally between all participants and in ancient Greece the hero would marry the princess and become king! :)

  2. You mentioned 'critical injuries' upon the hero who did the actual dirty work of slaying the hydra.
    There's a good chance he would die soon, and not survive the terrible battle long after.
    In that case, the remaining 50 gold pieces are his 'coffin capital' 棺材本, for his funeral wake and burial ceremony.

    The above is a pessimistic interpretation.

    What follows below may be a more constructive outcome (there may be other possibilities) —

    The hero is not only built like Arnold Schwarzenegger, he also has the charm of Will Smith.
    Assuming he survives, he manages to persuade the expert craftsman, scout and herbalist that the village needs to retain his vital services.

    After all, just like when you kill a python and its mate comes for revenge, there may be another hydra waiting to retaliate within the month.
    Convinced, they each contribute 50 gold pieces of their reward to him as insurance (some call it 'protection money'), so the hero now has 200 gold, certainly more than enough to ease his passage into a postponed afterlife.

    The wise elder is trickier.
    Truly humble, the hero offers his youthful body in voluntary protection of the great old man, for free.

    Touched by the youthful hero's sincerity, the elder gives him 100 gold pieces out of his reward, with a binding promise that when the old one passes on, the hero will get the rest of the gold, for his faithful services until the end.
    Final reward for hero: 200 + 100 = 300 gold now, 700 gold when they get there (i.e. the wise old man dies).

    Is this possible in Singapore?
    Are enough of us as shrewd as the hero?