Counting life

Counting life

The other day, at Maria's birthday, I met a somewhat peculiar gentleman. The truth is, we were a bit bored as we were the only old folks, and with age, good conversations become more important than romantic dancing.

The gentleman turned out to be a somewhat eccentric biologist with a strange theory. "Just as people have two hands, two eyes, ten toes on their feet, similarly, plants have the same number of branches or leaves. Roses have an exact number of petals, and trees produce a precise number of apples," he explained. Of course, my ignorance forced me to stay silent, although I was dying to express my serious doubts about his assertions.

Since that day, he has been telling me things and jotting everything down in a small notebook. Now I know that the daisies in this area have twenty-seven white petals and forty thin yellow filaments. The roses near the lake have thirty-seven thorns, and the pine trees in the main garden each have eighteen large branches.

I wanted to show the gentleman my data, so I asked Maria if she had his contact, but she didn't remember any biologist friend at her party. "He was a man with two eyes, two eyebrows, a nose, and five fingers on each hand," I said, but I think she didn't understand me.

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