There was once a very influential farmer in a remote part of China, who had a problem. His chickens were losing their feathers and dying. H sought the counsel of the two wise men in town, Hing, who was scientist, and Ming, who was a sorcerer.
Hing, who has had many advanced course hours in poultry science, consults the classic text in poultry disease, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Diseases of Chickens, But Were Afraid to Ask.” In the book Hing finds a reference to the report of a study showing that feeding the chickens with an infusion of gum tree leaves is often a remedy for chickens losing their feathers. Meanwhile Ming reads obscure writings of ancient wise men, he meditates, and he reads tarot cards and examines the entrails of a pig. Getting no inspiration he uses his old standby, reading tea leaves. In a spark of discovery, it comes to him that an infusion of gum tree leaves is the cure.
So the two wise men report back to the influential Chinese farmer. Ming says, “As gum sticks to tables and chairs, so shall an infusion of gum tree leaves make feathers stick to chickens.” Hing agrees, saying “Studies show that infusions of gum tree leaves alleviate feather loss in chickens.” The influential Chinese farmer is ecstatic, for the two wisest men in town are of a single mind. He decides to follow their recommendation. It does not work.
Moral of the Story: “All of Hing’s courses and all of Ming’ ken couldn’t get gum tea to feather a hen.”