A teacher was helping her third-grade students with a math problem. After choosing a student in particular, she recited the following story:
“Billy, there are three birds sitting on a telephone wire. A man with a gun shoots one of the birds. How many birds are left on the wire?”
The boy pauses. “None,” he replied thoughtfully.
“No, no, no. Let’s try again, maybe you didn’t hear me correctly,” the teacher says patiently. She holds up three fingers. “There are three birds sitting on a wire. A man with a gun shoots one,” she puts down one finger, “how many birds are left on the wire?”
“None,” the boy says with authority.
The teacher sighs. “Tell me how you came up with that.”
“It’s simple,” says the boy, “after the man shot one bird, the noise from the gun scared the other two away.”
“Well,” she says, “that’s not technically correct, but I like the way you think.”
“Thanks,” chimes the boy, “now let me ask you a question.”
“Okay,” she said guardedly.
“There are three women sitting on a bench eating popsicles. One woman is licking the popsicle, one woman is biting the popsicle, and one is sucking the popsicle. Which one is married?” he asked innocently.
The teacher looked at the boy’s angelic face and writhed in agony, turning three shades of red.
“C’mon,” the boy said impatiently, “which one is it, the one licking the popsicle, the one biting it, or the one sucking it? Which one is married?”
“Well, uh,” she gulped and in a barely audible whisper replied, “the one who’s sucking?”
“Naw,” he says with surprise, “the one with the wedding ring. But I like the way you think.”