There once was a chicken farmer who lived in a small village in China. One year, all of his chickens were afflicted with a strange blight that caused them to lose their feathers.

The farmer was deeply concerned about this, because winter was coming, and, if the chickens had no feathers, they would freeze to death. So, the farmer decided to consult the 2 wisest men in the land.

First, he visited Mr. Ching, the renowned scholar. Mr. Ching leafed through all his agricultural and medicinal texts and poured over scrolls well into the night. Finally, he returned to the farmer and told him that if he crushed the leaves of a gum tree into powder, made it into tea, and fed it to his chickens, they would be cured.

The farmer then went to Mr. Ming, the great seer. Mr. Ming cast stones, read tea leaves, and poked through entrails until he came up with the answer: "Tea made from gum leaves will cause feathers to stick to chicken."

The farmer was ecstatic! The 2 wisest men in the land had given him exactly the same prescription. He returns home and takes some gum leaves and makes tea from them. He mixes it with the chicken feed and feeds it to the chickens.

But it didn't work. The chickens continued to lose their feathers, and with the on-set of winter, they all froze to death.

The moral of this story?. .

. . . . . ."All of Ching's courses and all of Ming's ken, couldn't get gum tea to feather a hen!"