The teacher tried to come up with problems which her class of country children could relate to.
During a maths lesson she put the question: “If there are twenty sheep in a field, and one gets out through a hole in the fence, how many sheep are left in the field?”
The class was silent for a moment as they did the calculation then a girl put up her hand and said, “None.”
The teacher told her she was wrong and asked another pupil who also replied “None.”
The teacher tried a third child who said, “Well I was going to say none too, but if that’s not the right answer I don’t know what is.”
This was a problem the class ought to have been able to solve easily so the teacher thought they were having her on.
“What’s wrong, you obviously don’t know much about maths today.”
There was a moment’s silence then a pupil put up her hand.
“Sorry Ms Jones, it’s not that we don’t know about maths it’s that we do know about sheep. If there are 20 in a paddock and one goes through a hole in the fence the other 19 will follow it.”