More wisdom of the elders


With weather in the news (some classic headlines here), and following my granddad’s wise words, this story appears on several sites—I’ve adapted it somewhat to the version I first heard: **

It’s fall, and the Indians on a remote reservation ask their new Chief if the winter is going to be cold or mild. Being an Indian Chief in a modern society, he’s never been taught the old secrets, so when he looks up at the sky, he can’t tell how the weather is going to be. But to be on the safe side he reports back to his tribe that the winter is indeed going to be cold, and that they should all collect firewood so as to be prepared.

Also, being a practical leader, he gets an idea. He goes down to the phone booth, calls the National Weather Service and asks, “Is the coming winter going to be cold?”

“It looks like this winter could indeed be quite cold,” the meteorologist at the weather service responds. So the Chief goes back to his people and tells
them to collect even more firewood.

A week later, he calls the National Weather Service again. “So are you still predicting a really cold winter?”

“Yes,” the man at National Weather Service replies, “there’s now a 73.8% chance that it will be a very cold winter.” The Chief goes back to his people again and orders them to collect every scrap of wood they can find.

Two weeks later, he calls them up again. “You got an update on how cold it’s gonna be?”

“Sure,” the man replies. “There’s now a 97.6% chance that it’s going to be one of the coldest winters ever.”

“Wow, that’s an amazingly precise science you got there—may I just ask how you can be so sure?” the Chief asks.

The weatherman replies, “The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy.”


**From Alex, like the job interview joke.

2 thoughts on “More wisdom of the elders

  1. Pingback: Headlines | Stephen Jones: a blog

  2. Pingback: Injuns! | Stephen Jones: a blog

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