The paralysis of fear

A farmer in the southern part of the United States was sitting on the steps of his tumbledown house. A stranger stopped for a drink from the farmer’s well and asked how the cotton was coming along.

“Ain’t got none,” was the farmer’s reply.

“Did you plant any?” asked the stranger.

“Nope,” said the farmer. “Afraid of the bollweevils.”

“Well then, how’s your corn?”

“Didn’t plant no corn either. Afraid there weren’t gonna be enough rain.”

The stranger persisted. “How are your potatoes?”

“Didn’t plant none. Scared of potato bugs.”

By now the stranger was frustrated. “Well, what did you plant?” he asked.

“Nothing,” replied the farmer, “I just played it safe.”

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