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An old cowboy named Bud was overseeing his livestock in a remote mountainous pasture in California when a brand new BMW convertible rolled up in a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man wearing a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses, and a Rolex watch emerged from the vehicle with a challenge for the rancher: “If I tell you exactly how many cows you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”

Bud sized up the young fella – obviously a yuppie, glanced at his peaceful herd, and calmly replied, “Sure, why not?”

The yuppie immediately whipped out a Sony laptop computer, connected it to his iPhone, and surfed to a NASA website on the Internet. He then accessed a GPS satellite in orbit over them, got an exact fix on their position, and then scanned the area with a high definition camera. The young man then opened the image with Adobe Photoshop and quickly exported it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Within seconds, he received an email confirming that the image had been processed and reviewed. He then accessed a secure MS-SQL database via his Blackberry, and subsequently printed off a 134 page, full-color, report on his miniature HP Laser-Jet printer.

He confidently turned to the cowboy and declared, “You have exactly 1,562 cows in your herd.”

“That’s right, pardner,” replied the old cowhand. “Well, I guess I owe you a calf. Pick one out.”

The young man carefully looked over the herd before selecting a fine animal. He led it over to the car, and proceeded to stuff it into the trunk of his car.

When Bud could stand it no longer, he interrupted the young man’s efforts and asked, “Listen. If I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”

The self-assured yuppie thought it was a safe bet and said, “Why not?”

“You’re a Congressman for the United States of America,” exclaimed Bud.

Shocked, the yuppie said, “Yeah, how’d you guess that?”

“No guessing required,” said Bud. “You showed up here even though nobody called you. You want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter you were than me, even though you don’t know a darn thing about cows. This is a herd of sheep. Now give me back my dog!”

Topics Illustrated Include:
Hard Work

(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)