One logician went to purchase some flour from a miller. The
miller asked him to kindly wait for a few moments, because he was just grinding it.
The logician noticed that the miller kept an ox for turning
the millstone; that ox would walk in a circle, the yoke being attached to the stone, and thus the grains would be ground up.
The ox had a nice bell tied around its neck also, which clanged as he walked. The miller was in the meantime in his house, doing other things. After a few moments he returned, gathered some fresh-ground flour into a sack, and gave it to the logician.
“I have one question for you”, said the logician.
“A question for me?” returned the miller incredulously. “I am
simply a farmer. What do I know of your scholarly questions?”
“No, this is a question about your line of work. Tell me, why do you keep that bell on the neck of the ox?”
“Oh, that way I can do other things. When he walks, I hear the bell. If I hear no bell, I come out and give him a whack to start him walking again. Otherwise I’d be standing here all day just looking after this ox.”
“But what if the ox stands still and just shakes his head so the bell rings? How would you know if he was working or not?”
“Oh, that’s no problem, because that animal is not a logician