Once upon a time, there was a
man who did not have a mouth.
It so happened that he also had
no nose. Or chin. Or forehead.
He couldn’t see, because he didn’t
have any eyes.
And he couldn’t hear, because
he didn’t have any ears.
Here are some of the other things
he DIDN’T have:
and no belly button.
As a matter of fact, he didn’t
Come to think of it, it’s not
even clear who we’re talking about.
So you know what?
We might as well not talk about
Something very unusual happened
to me. I suddenly forgot what comes first, 7 or 8.
I thought and thought and thought
about it, and finally asked Ferdinand what HE thought about it.
Imagine our surpise when we discovered
that he, too, could not remember if 8 comes before 7 or if 7 comes before
We were sure that 1 was first.
We were sure that 2 was second.
We were sure that 3 was third.
We were sure that 4 was fourth.
We were sure that 5 was fifth.
And 6 had to be sixth.
But what WE wanted to know was
what came next: 7 or 8 ?
Determined to get to the bottom
of this dilemma, we decided to ask Professor Jonas Bagdonas.
Professor Jonas Bagdonas was sitting
behind his desk and eating a cucumber.
After listening to our question,
the Professor finished his cucumber, wiped his hands with a napkin, and
took off his glasses.
“As a general rule,” he said,
“seven comes after eight ONLY when eight comes after seven.”
The Professor paused to give us
time to think about what he had said.
“It necessarily follows,” he concluded,
“that eight comes after seven ONLY when seven comes after eight.”
Ferdinand and I couldn’t help
but admire the Professor’s reasoning. We were convinced that he had settled
the matter once and for all.
But when we started thinking about
the meaning of the Professor’s words, we realized that the Professor’s
words contained no meaning whatsoever.
When he woke up one morning, Ferdinand
discovered that his feet were pointing the wrong way.
He thought little of it at the time
and went to brush his teeth.
But instead of going to the bathroom,
his feet headed straight for the kitchen.
Ferdinand forced them to stop, turned
around, and took a step toward the bathroom, but his feet suddenly started
Ferdinand pulled himself together and
started moving slowly
step by step
inch by inch
toward the bathroom door.
However, his feet double-crossed him
once more and rushed forward.
“Rats!” cried Ferdinand, slamming into
the bathroom door.
But his feet continued pulling tricks
on him and even knocked over some kind of glass bowl that was standing
on top of a dresser in the hall.
Finally, Ferdinand opened the bathroom
“At last!” he said, grabbing his toothbrush
triumphantly. “I made it!”
Would you like to hear a story about
Professor Jonas Bagdonas?
Then I will tell you a story about Professor
One day, the Professor was playing checkers
The Professor was winning. Ferdinand
was losing. And I was watching the game.
The Professor was just about to make
a move when something snapped inside him and POP! — a little triangle popped
out of his eye and fell on the floor!
The Professor leaned over to pick up
the little triangle, when POP! and POP! — a little circle popped out of
his ear and a little square popped out of his nose!
I looked at Ferdinand.
Ferdinand looked at me.
And we both looked at the Professor.
“Nothing to worry about,” the Professor
assured us. “Don’t get alarmed.”
And the Professor calmly picked up the
little triangle and put it back inside his eye.
Then the Professor calmly picked up
the little square and put it back inside his nose.
But when the Professor calmly picked
up the little circle, he hesitated.
looked at me,
he looked at Ferdinand ,
he looked at me,
he looked at Ferdinand,
and then he said:
“Does anyone remember which ear this
little circle goes in?”
“Sure,” said Ferdinand. “It goes in
your right ear.”
“I don’t think so,” said I. “I think
it goes in your left ear.”
“No,” said Ferdinand, “It goes in the
“It goes in the left ear!” said I.
“The right ear!”
“The left ear”
The Professor held the little circle
in front of us.
looked at Ferdinand,
he looked at me,
he looked at Ferdinand,
he looked at me...
and then he put the little circle in his mouth
and swallowed it.
Ferdinand and I were very impressed with
the Professor’s solution to the problem.