A BUREAUCRAT was hiking when he came upon a shepherd tending a large flock. The bureaucrat took a fancy to the sheep and asked the shepherd, “If I can guess how many there arc, may I have one? The shepherd thought it unlikely the man would guess the exact number, so he agreed.

The bureaucrat guessed, “You have 287 sheep.” The shepherd was astonished, since this was exactly right.

“Can I pick out my sheep now?” asked the bureaucrat. The shepherd grudgingly gave his permission. Selecting one, the bureaucrat slung it over his shoulders to carry home.

The shepherd got an idea. “If I guess your occupation,” he said, “may I have my sheep back?” The bureaucrat was surprised, but figured there was little chance of the shepherd guessing correctly, so he went along.

“You’re a bureaucrat,” announced the shepherd.   Amazed, the bureaucrat asked, “How did you know?”

The shepherd replied, “Put the dog down and we’ll talk about it.”

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