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Frank Lamb

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China's emperor sought the finest samurai in the land as his personal bodyguard. When the field was narrowed to three, each was summoned before the emperor, given a small box and instructed to open it and "take appropriate action."

The first samurai opened his box and out buzzed a fly. The samurai drew his sword and neatly halved the fly with one swipe. The second quartered his fly with two strokes.

The third samurai opened his box, drew his sword, took a mighty swipe -- and the fly continued to buzz.

"You have failed," the emperor said. "Your fly still flies."

"He still flies," the samurai replied, "but he will no longer reproduce."

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