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James Callow Folklore Archive

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A WOMAN HAD IDENTICAL TWINS AND THE ONLY DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THEM WAS THAT ONE WAS AN OPTIMIST WHILE THE
OTHER WAS A REAL PESSIMIST. WELL, ONE DAY SHE
DECIDED TO TAKE THEM TO A PSYCHIATRIST TO SEE IF
THEY COULD BE EVENED OUT A LITTLE, YOU KNOW, MAKE
THE PESSIMIST A LITTLE MORE OPTIMISTIC AND VICE
VERSA. AFTER EXPLAINING HER PROBLEM TO THE DOCTOR,
HE TOLD HER WHAT TO DO. HE SAID, "ON THEIR NEXT
BIRTHDAY, I WANT YOU TO FILL A ROOM WITH EVERY
CONCEIVABLE TOY AND PUT THE PESSIMIST IN THE ROOM.
THEN, I WANT YOU TO FILL A BOX WITH HORSE MANURE AND
GIVE THAT TO THE ONE WHO'S SO OPTIMISTIC."
WELL, ON THEIR NEXT BIRTHDAY, THE WOMAN FOLLOWED
THE GOOD DOCTOR'S ADVICE AND SHE COULD HARDLY WAIT
TO SEE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN, SO SHE PEEKED IN THE ROOM
WITH THE TOYS. THERE WAS THE PESSIMIST WALKING
AROUND THE ROOM IN COMPLETE DISGUST, COMPARING THE
VARIOUS GIFTS WITH THE TOYS OF HIS FRIENDS AND
FINDING HIS FAR BELOW THEIRS IN QUALITY. SOMEWHAT
DISTURBED, THE MOTHER THEN WENT TO CHECK ON HER OTHER
SON, AND SHE FOUND HIM DIGGING HAPPILY WITH HIS LITTLE
SHOVEL IN THE BOX OF MANURE, SAYING, "IF THERE'S
MANURE, THERE HAS TO BE A PONY HERE SOMEWHERE.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 00-00-1956

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