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Nell"Pa," said Hosh. "I learnt how a cat scan is done today."

"They are very expensive," said Isha as she served everybody dinner at the table.

"Capable doctors don't really need to do them, do they?"

"Umm," Hosh answered. "They do have their uses, Ma. Why do you ask?"

"Oh, just confirming. I'd read about a lady who walked into a veterinarian's, holding a limp duck," Isha answered.

"She told the vet that she'd had this dear old duck for over ten years and now she was afraid it was very, very sick."

"The vet took one look at the limp duck, prodded and poked here and there and declared the duck utterly dead."

The lady, beside herself with shock and grief, just couldn't believe his clinical disaffection and blunt prognosis.

"But you haven't even run any diagnostic tests," she objected. "How can you be sure my duck is dead?"

The vet sadly shook his head and whistled. A Labrador retriever bounded up to him from outside. He tapped on the table near the duck.

The Lab hopped onto the table and pawed the limp duck thoroughly. Then he hopped down, lifted it gently in his mouth and took it out onto the green for a closer examination in natural surrounds.

Within seconds, he was back with it. He plopped it back onto the table and shook his head.

"There you are," said the vet sadly, as his dog trotted out of the room. "It is completely dead, and no longer with us."

"Is that all you're going to do?" the lady was beginning to get pissed off with him. "Isn't there any other test you could do, to fully diagnose my duck?"

The vet heaved a long-suffering sigh and snapped his fingers. A cat walked gracefully over to him. Again, he tapped on the table near the duck.

The cat sprang onto the table and thoroughly sniffed the duck over. Then it too, sadly shook its head and glided away.

The lady finally saw the writing on the wall. The vet repeated again, "I'm very sorry, but your duck has finally passed over."

"Ok," she sighed. "Thank you for what you have done. How much do I owe you?"

"$310," said the vet.

The lady almost fell over.

"$310?" she wailed. "You only spent a few minutes! How can you charge me so much, just to tell me that my duck is dead?"

"Well, my fee was only $10," the vet replied, "but you asked for a lab test and a cat scan!"

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