DISCERNING REAL EMERGENCIES
A frontier couple, Zeb and Martha, settled down on their new land. They built a cabin, a barn and a corral for their livestock. Then Zeb hung a big bell in a tree and explained, “There are renegades around here, Martha. If you need me, ring the bell — but only in an emergency.” Days later, as Zeb was riding out to the fields to cut wood, he heard the bell ring. he headed home at full gallop. “What’s wrong?” “I just thought maybe you’d like some fresh coffee,” Martha said. “Tarnation, woman, I said the bell was for emergencies. Half the day gone, and I still have chores to do.” Once more he rode out. Just as he picked up the ax, he heard the bell. Again he raced home. “The washtub’s leaking,” reported Martha. “That ain’t no blasted emergency! I’ve gotta cut the wood.” Two hours later Zeb was chopping down a tree and the bell rang. He charged…
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