As a boy, my father would often say to me, after he was able to accomplish some feat that I could not do, that there is no substitute for experience. This is a little story that I heard somewhere that, at least for me, illustrates that lesson:
A young man from the big city went duck hunting in rural Tennessee. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer's field on the other side of a fence.
An elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing. The young man responded, "I shot a duck and it fell in this field, and now I am going to retrieve it."
The old farmer replied, "This is my property and you are not coming over here!"
The indignant young man said, "I will call my lawyer if you don't let me get my duck and I will sue you and take everything you own!"
The old farmer smiled and said, "Apparently you don't know how we settle disputes in Tennessee. We settle disagreements with the three kick rule."
They young man asked, "What is the three kick rule?"
The farmer replied, "Well, because the dispute occurred on my land, I get to go first. I kick you three times and then you kick me three times and so on, back and forth until someone gives up."
The young man quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the local custom.
The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the young man. His first kick planted the toe of his steel toed work boot into the man's groin and dropped him to his knees.
His second kick to the midriff sent the man's last meal gushing from his mouth. The young man was on all fours when the farmer's third kick to his rear end sent him face first into a fresh cow pie.
The young man summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet. Wiping his face with the arm of his jacket, he said, "Okay, you old fool. Now it's my turn."
The old farmer smiled and said, "Nah, I give up. You can have the duck."
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Around the Center:
* The senior center will host Allen Williams at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 23 for a seminar on Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicare supplements and Medicaid. Everyone is welcome.
* The senior tours will be going to Beef and Boards dinner theater to see the musical "Oklahoma" on Oct. 24. The bus will leave Greencastle at 10 a.m. and we will have front row seats to the show. The cost is $65 per person. To reserve a seat, call the senior center at 653-8606.
* The senior health fair will be Oct. 2 at the Putnam County Fairgrounds in Greencastle. As always, flu shots will be available to those who attend the show from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
* The storeroom at the senior center is located on the second floor and has lots of children's clothing and women's clothing for sale. Prices are very low and we do have good selection.