A young man moved to the country and bought a farm. He planned to start with just a few animals so he walked to the local market.
When he arrived at the market, he went to a stall which had hens for sale. He asked the merchant “How much for that hen?”
The merchant quoted him a price, and the young man accepted. As the merchant handed over the bird, he told the newcomer, “Around here we call them pullets.”
Next, the man went to a stall which had several roosters for sale. He asked the merchant “How much for a rooster?”
The merchant quoted him a price and again the young man accepted the price.
As the merchant handed over the fowl, he politely informed the man, “In these parts, we call these cockerels, or just plain cocks for short.”
The man walked around for a while carrying his new purchases under his arms. He soon became tired and dreaded the long walk home.
It was then that he spotted a stall with a donkey. He approached the merchant and asked “How much for the donkey?”
The merchant quoted him a price and tells him, “Before I sell you this animal, I need to tell you a few things. First, around here we call this animal an ass. Also, this particular ass is very stubborn. He may go along for a while, then stop. The only way you can get him going again is to scratch him between his ears.”
The new farmer does not see a problem with this and purchases the animal. He gets on his ass, while the merchant handed the man his previous purchases. With a gentle kick, the man headed for home.
Sure enough, the man got about half way back home and the ass stopped dead in his tracks. The young man wasn’t quite sure what to do, as he could not scratch the animal without letting go of one of his birds!
Luckily he was approached by a young woman traveling the same way. Wanting to make sure he made a good impression, he was very careful to use the local language:
“Excuse me, Miss? Could I bother you to hold my cock and pullet while I scratch my ass?”