A farmer was working in his field when a stranger approached him. The traveler asked, “What kind of people live in the next town?”
Without pausing from his work the farmer replied, “What kind of people lived in the town you just left?”
“They were horrible,” the traveler said waving his hand for emphasis. “People were dishonest, selfish, and inconsiderate.”
Looking up, the farmer shook his head, “I’m sorry to say that’s probably what you’ll find in this town, too.”
The stranger moaned and walked away.
Late in the same day another man happened down the same road. When he saw the farmer he called out, “What kind of people live in this next town?”
Without looking up the farmer returned with a question, “What kind of people lived in the town you just left?”
“They were thoughtful, friendly, and kind,” the traveler beamed. “I hated to leave them.”
The farmer put down his hoe, extended his hand and smiled. “I’m pleased to say that is about how you’ll find folks here,” he said.
The traveler returned the smile, shook the farmer’s hand and headed toward his new home.
Based on an American folktale, from the book, Stories for the Journey, by William R. White.