The annual county fair was taking place, and farmers from far and near had come to exhibit their harvest and to engage hired hands for the next year. One prosperous farmer came across a husky lad and asked: “What can you do?” The youth answered, “I can sleep when the wind blows.”
With such an answer the farmer turned and started to walk away, perturbed at the impudence of the man. But he turned again and asked, “What did you say?” “I can sleep when the wind blows.”
“Well,” said the farmer, “I don’t know what that means, but I’m going to hire you anyway.”
Winter came, followed by the usual spring, and the new hired hand didn’t show any particular signs of extra work, but filled the duties of his calling as most others would have done.
And then one night in early summer the farmer noticed a strong wind rising. He dashed to the hired hand’s quarters to arouse him to see that all the stock was properly cared for. There he found the hired hand asleep. He was about to awaken him, when he remembered the man’s strange statement.
He went to his barns and there found all his animals in their places, and the doors and windows securely locked. He found the haystack had been crisscrossed with heavy wires, anticipating such a night, and that it would weather the storm.
Then the farmer knew what his hired man meant when he gave as his only qualification, “I can sleep when the wind blows.”
by Reed H. Bradford: as published in “The Instructor” (December 1967)