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The bacon tree
In the days of the Old West, a wagon train was lost and low on food. No other humans had been seen for days. At last, the group spotted an old Jew sitting beneath a tree.
The leader rushed to him and said, "We're lost and running out of food. Is there someplace ahead where we can get something to eat?"
"Vell," the old Jew said, "I vouldn't go up dat hill und down de other side. Somevun told me you'll run into a big bacon tree."
"A bacon tree?" asked the wagon train leader.
"Yah, a bacon tree. Trust me. For nothing vud I lie."
The leader goes back and tells his people that if nothing else, they might be able to find a little nosh on the other side of the next ridge.
"So why did he say not to go there?" some pioneers asked.
"Oh, you know those Jews — they don't eat bacon."
So the wagon train goes up the hill and down the other side. Suddenly, a group of bandits attacks and captures everyone except the leader, who manages to escape back to the old Jew.
The man starts shouting. "You old fool! You sent us into an attack! We followed your instructions, but there was no bacon tree. Just dozens of bandits, who captured everyone."
The old Jew holds up his hand and says "Oy, vait a minute."
He takes out an English-Yiddish dictionary, and begins thumbing through it. "Gevalt, I made a furshluginner mistake," he says.
"It vuz not a bacon tree. It vuz a ham bush!"
© david minkoff
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