Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Old Farmer Story

Leaning on the stone wall separating their properties, one farmer says to another:

"My son didn't come home last night." To which the neighbor responds, "That's terrible! I am so sorry! That is too bad!"

"Well, maybe yes, maybe no."

"What do you mean? You have no other workers! Without your son, you can't bring in your crop! You and your wife will starve. This is terrible!"

"Maybe yes, and maybe no. Hey look, here he comes now!" Son rides up on horseback with a bunch of other horses.

"Dad! Look at all this! I found seven wild horses! No brands or anything! I already checked the local stables, and no one is missing anything! They are all ours! We are rich! Isn't this great?"

"Well, maybe yes and maybe no."

"What do you mean, maybe?! This is amazing! We can sell two of the horses and pay for a new barn. We can rent out the others, or work our field in one day instead of one week! We can sell two and buy a new field! This is great! You see that, right, dad?"

While the farmer is answering, the son falls from his horse and breaks his arm BADLY.

Later, after helping to dress the wound, the neighbor and farmer are again leaning on their shared wall, ruminating on the day and the world.

Neighbor: "Well I am so sorry. Could be your son will never have much use from that arm again. At best, it will take weeks to heal, and he won't be able to help you on the farm much. This is really a terrible break for you."

"Well, maybe yes and maybe no."

"Oh, come on, sunshine! You are just trying to get under my skin, now! There is NO WAY that this is not bad news for you! I mean, I am sorry, I will help you all I can, but this is the worst news a father can get, right? Really?"

As the father is responding in his typical way, an army of men on horseback enters the little valley.  It is the king's men. They arrive in force and announce that " royal decree, all healthy and able young men must come immediately and join the royal army to fight a distant war. Few will return. All must serve."

Predictably, the neighbor is aghast. "Oh my god! This is terrible! The village will lose a hundred young men! How awful!"

You know what the farmer said?

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