A problem is any matter that involves doubt, uncertainty or difficulty. Before trying to solve any matter of doubt or uncertainty, one is required to first understand and interpret the problem. Interpreting a problem means expounding or to telling the meaning of a particular problem in order for somebody to understand the seriousness in the given problem (Morris, Albert, 2005). This way, he is able to come up with a permanent or a satisfactory solution to that particular problem.
In this situation, we have a cat, a dog and a mouse and we are supposed to assist all the animals to cross the river without any animal being hurt. If one leaves the dog and the cat on one side of the river and assist the mouse to cross the river, then the dog will eat the cat. Similarly, if one helps the dog to cross the river then one will be leave the cat and the mouse and the cat will eat the mouse. To interpret this problem, I decided to keenly read the instructions given.
As one reads the instructions, one notices that on only two accessions was there a possibility of their emerging a problem. Firstly, when you leave the cat and the mouse together, there was bound to be problems, and if you leave the cat and the dog together, there was bound to be problems. Bearing this crucial information in mind, one needs to try to figure out ways in which we may help the animals to cross without causing any commotion. The problem is in a manner that is simple and easy to understand.
After interpreting the problem, the next and very important aspect of solving it is strategizing on the solution. In this problem, it is not clear what the result of leaving the dog and the mouse together and helping the cat to cross first would be. It is true to assume that nothing will happen if you leave the dog and the mouse together. First, one should help the cat to cross the river, leaving the mouse and the dog on one side. Since nothing will happen if you do that, one should then cross the river alone and help another animal to cross.
This time you can both pick the dog or the mouse and cross with it. However, if you take either of the two animals to the other side a similar situation to first step will arise. Therefore, it is wise to take the mouse and cross with it only that this time you will go back to the other side with the cat leaving the mouse alone on one side. When one gets to the other side, one will leave the cat and cross with the dog. Two animals have crossed and what is left is helping the cat to cross. Once the cat has crossed, the problem is over. (João 1992). Where one has successfully helped two animals to cross the river without causing any commotion with the animals, it is true to conclude that there is a relatively important progress made.
When solving such a problem, one encounters one major obstacle (Quinney, 2009), whereby one has contradictory ideas when trying to solve a problem. In case of such a problem, it is wise to put down all the ideas you may have on your mind and trying to apply them one by one eliminating the ideas that one believes cannot help in solving the problem. This will help in coming up with one main idea which can be effectively applied in solving the problem.
Finally, I was not aware of this said problem when it was presented for solving. As I looked keenly at the three animals and carefully read the instructions given, I noted that there must have been ways of helping the three animals cross the river without anyone of them being hurt in any way, otherwise the question would be impossible to solve.