The young man was at the end of his training, soon he would go on to be a teacher. Like all good pupils, he needed to challenge his teacher and to develop his own way of thinking.
He caught a bird, placed it in one hand and went to see his teacher.
'Teacher, is this bird alive or dead?'
His plan was the following: if his teacher said 'dead', he would open his hand and the bird would fly away. If the answer was 'alive', he would crush the bird between his fingers; that way the teacher would be wrong whichever answer he gave.
'Teacher, is the bird alive or dead?' he asked again.
'My dear student, that depends on you,' was the teacher's reply.
Source: Paulo Coelho Warrior of Light