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I climbed up a cherry tree, and there I found cherries. I did not pick cherries, nor did I leave cherries. How is this possible? Before you answer, the tree is a closed environment, no birds or anything else have any significance. There is only me, and the cherry tree.

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  • $\begingroup$ It is not winter, the season is insignificant. $\endgroup$
    – Parzival
    Apr 22 '16 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ An obvious answer would be that you brought some cherries up with you, laid them on a branch, looked on the branch and found them there, picked them up, and took them away again. This seems not only obvious but boring; do you want to adjust the question to exclude it? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Apr 22 '16 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan Harsh. $\endgroup$ Apr 22 '16 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ @SendersReagent, do you mean my first comment or my second? I hope the first isn't harsh because it seems very unlikely that the questioner had that "solution" in mind; [EDITED: there was some discussion of a second comment here, which I've removed because it turned into an actual answer.] $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Apr 22 '16 at 16:38
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    $\begingroup$ No birds? Nowhere is worth living without birds! $\endgroup$ Apr 22 '16 at 17:01
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You found

two cherries

and then you

picked one of them and left the other there.

Therefore, you

did not pick cherries but only one cherry, and did not leave cherries but only one cherry.

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    $\begingroup$ Based on the wording, he could have just climbed the tree. There is no stipulation that you must pick or eat something when you climb a tree. So it's possible that he climbed the cherry tree because physics allows it to be. $\endgroup$ Apr 22 '16 at 19:18
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, he didn't leave any cherries in the tree. I misunderstood what OP meant by "nor did I leave cherries". $\endgroup$ Apr 25 '16 at 14:05
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You

are still in the tree, so you haven't left the cherries.

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    $\begingroup$ It's true, why would he climb back down when there's nothing in the environment except him and the tree? $\endgroup$ Apr 22 '16 at 17:03
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You...

are fire. You climbed up the tree, where there were cherries, and fully consumed the tree and cherries, leaving nothing but ash.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice, except this is a closed environment - no way for a fire to stay alive. +1 from me. $\endgroup$ Apr 23 '16 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ If there's no way for a fire to stay alive then there's also no way for a human being to stay alive. Metabolism is basically slow burning. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Apr 25 '16 at 12:01
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This is possible:

As you were climbing back down the tree, you slipped, in the process knocking down all the cherries that were in the tree - thus neither picking nor leaving any.

Alternatively:

You have "cerasumophobia" and you destroyed the cherries using your cherry laser blaster (or by some other nefarious method).

Or maybe:

The cherries were ripe and happened to fall off even as you were pondering about whether to have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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    $\begingroup$ sorry, but no, i never slip. I am meticulous in my cherry picking. $\endgroup$
    – Parzival
    Apr 22 '16 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe he climbed up and ate them straight off the branches $\endgroup$ Apr 22 '16 at 18:14
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This is my answer:

You climbed up. The cherries were fully ripe. Moment you went up and after you saw them, the cherries fell down from the tree!

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You're

still at the top of the tree. You never picked any cherries, but you haven't left them either.

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  • $\begingroup$ No, I did climb back down. $\endgroup$
    – Parzival
    Apr 22 '16 at 23:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Parzival Where'd you say that? $\endgroup$ Apr 22 '16 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ @SimpleArt in my first comment, right above yours. $\endgroup$
    – Parzival
    Apr 23 '16 at 14:10
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You found cherries already picked by someone else, ate them, climbed down. Or 'you' are Ivy, climbing slowly over the cherries you suffocate and kill them slowly, they die, you carry on climbing.

But I think it's my first answer, I just like imagery ;)

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  • $\begingroup$ Good thinking, but no. $\endgroup$
    – Parzival
    Apr 23 '16 at 14:07
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Clearly not what you intended but I think it would technically be true:

You climbed up with cherries, then climbed down with the same cherries. You haven't picked any new cherries, and you didn't leave any of the cherries you originally had in the tree

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