Farmer John lived on a quiet rural highway. But, as time went by, the traffic built up at an alarming rate. The traffic was so heavy and so fast that his chickens were being run over at a rate of three to six a day.
So, one day Farmer John called the sheriff’s office and said, “You’ve got to do something about all of these people driving so fast and killing all of my chickens.”
“What do you want me to do?” asked the sheriff.
“I don’t care,” said Farmer John. “Just do something about these crazy drivers!”
So the next day, the county workers erected a sign that said SLOW: SCHOOL CROSSING.
Three days later Farmer John called the sheriff and said, “You’ve got to do something about these drivers. The ‘school crossing’ sign seems to make them go even faster.”
So, again, the sheriff sent out the county workers and they put up a new sign: SLOW: CHILDREN AT PLAY. But that sped the drivers up even more!
So Farmer John kept calling, and the sheriff kept changing the signs.
Finally, Farmer John said to the sheriff, “Your signs are doing no good. Can I put up my own sign?”
The sheriff was ready to let Farmer John do just about anything if it would get him to stop calling every day. He said, “Sure thing, put up whatever you want.”
And after that, the sheriff got no more calls from Farmer John.
Three weeks later, the sheriff’s curiosity got the best him and he decided to give Farmer John a call. “How’s the problem with those drivers? Did you put up your sign?”
“Oh, I sure did. And not one chicken has been killed since then. I’ve got to go. I’m very busy.” He hung up the phone.
The sheriff was really curious now and he thought to himself “I’d better go out there and take a look at that sign… it might be something that WE could use to slow down drivers…”
So the sheriff drove out to Farmer John’s house, and his jaw nearly hit the floor at what he saw. There, painted neatly on a sheet of plywood was Farmer John’s sign:
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