One-minute review: Rich man’s cook roasts a crane for dinner. A female friend demands one of the roasted legs. Therefore, when the crane is served, it is brought to the attention of the rich man that the crane has only one leg.
The cook says cranes only have one leg. The rich man is furious. He asserts that cranes stand on one leg when they are sleeping, but they have two legs. He demands that his cook show him one-legged cranes.
The cook finds a flock that is sleeping and standing on one leg. The rich man yells at the cranes and they wake up, stand on two legs and take flight.
The rich man is about to thrash the cook, who says, “Well if you had yelled at the crane on the table as you yelled at the sleeping cranes, it would have put down the other leg.” The rich man laughed at the clever response and the cook is saved from a drubbing.
75 Short Masterpieces: Stories from the World’s Literature. Ed. Roger B. Goodman.