It was autumn, and the Indians living on the remote reservation asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.
But as the chief had grown up in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets: when he looked at the sky, he had no idea what the weather was going to be.
Even so, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold, and said they should all start collecting firewood to be ready for it when it came. Also, having a practical turn of mind, after a few days an idea came to him. From the settlement's sole telephone booth he called the National Weather Service and asked, "Will the coming winter be a cold one?"
"Indeed, it does look like this winter is going to be pretty cold", responded the meteorologist. So the chief went back to his people, and told them to collect even more wood so that they would be well prepared.
A week later, he called the National Weather Service again to check. "Are you quite sure this winter will be colder than normal?"
"Yes," replied the man at the National Weather Service, "It's definitely going to be a very cold winter". Once more the chief went back to his people, who were now getting quite anxious about the severity of the weather they were expecting, and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.
A couple of weeks later, he was approached by a delegation of family heads; by now, they were in a state of constant fretfulness about the frigidness of the winter that they were anticipating. So the chief called the National Weather Service yet again. "Are you absolutely sure that this winter is going to be unusually cold?"
"Absolutely!" the man replied. "It's going to be one of the coldest winters ever!"
"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.
"Well, the Indians are collecting wood like crazy!" replied the weatherman.
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