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Once there lived a long-bearded man who was always doing something foolish. Needless to say, he was the butt of all the neighborhood jokes. Even the kids made fun of him.
One day he came upon a sign that said, “Men with long beards are foolish.”
“Huh! Is this what everyone thinks of me?” he questioned, scratching his chin. His eyes narrowed in thought. “Maybe this is true. This is probably why they always laugh at me and have fun at my expense.”
After contemplating this for a while, his face suddenly lit up with the glow of a new-found idea.
“I am going to tolerate no more of this. I know the solution,” he said firmly with a smug look on his face.
Anxious to correct his image, he lit a match and set fire to his flowing beard, hoping to trim away some of the length. But to his utter shock, the fire quickly engulfed his entire beard and spread to his face.
The hungry flames swallowed his eyebrows and eyelashes too and left the once-bearded man burnt.
Seeing this, passer-byers poured water on his face and rushed him to the doctor.
Before he could see the doctor, he heard one ask, “What was he thinking?”
The other responded, “Oh, these long-bearded men! Foolish, aren’t they?”