Allegedly a favourite at Yarralumla Primary in Canberra in the mid-70s. – – –
There was a rich and not altogether intelligent young man getting bored with his life of excessive privilege. One day while driving at random through the Peruvian Andes, he noticed a sign by the side of the road. It said “Kadinka-Donka Machines Our Specialty”.
So he went along the little side road the sign pointed down, until he came to a small factory with “Kadinka-Donka Machine Manufacturer” on the roof.
“I’ve seen the sign,” he explained to the proprietor, “but I’ve never heard of Kadinka-Donka Machines before, and I don’t have one. I’d like to order one.”
“Fine. If you could make a down payment of about three million, we’ll get to work. Come and see us in a couple of years time.”
In a couple of years he was back. The proprietor had a tale of woe. “Our costs had risen, and money has suffered inflation, we need an extra ten million. Come back in another couple of years.”
In another couple of years he was back. Again, it was explained that components had vanished, availability of certain things, etc, etc, etc. So he put down another twenty million, and went away.
In ten years time he was back. He had married in the mean time, and was keen on showing his wife this amazing device; again, there were explanations as to why it wasn’t completed, and the proprietor was embarrassed, but there was a steady banging like someone was hammering something down, so the rich man nodded his head, smiled, and paid another forty million, and was told to return in fifteen years time.
Which he did. He had suffered an accident and a divorce in the meantime, but he hobbled up and the proprietor clapped his hands in delight. “We have got the Kadinka-Donka Machine up and ready,” he said, embracing the rich man as an old friend. “Come, let’s go start it up!”
So they went out of the factory, towards a tall tower that the rich man hadn’t seen before. The proprietor opened the door and, donning backpacks, they started up the stairs.
A few days later the proprietor opened an emergency panel in the wall and pulled out some oxygen masks. He gave one to the rich man and took one for himself. They also refreshed their back packs
A few weeks later they came to the room at the top. The rich man sat exhausted on the top step. “Move it,” said the proprietor. “You’re blocking the machine.”
So the rich man moved, and sat down on a bare stool to watch the proprietor, who rummaged around in a drawer in a desk, finally selecting a marble, which he held up to the light squinting quizzically at it. He nodded, then carried it over to the top step.
“You are about to watch history being made,” he said. “No one else has shown such patience as yourself.”
He put the marble on the top step and flicked it. It rolled off and rolled down the steps, while the rich man heard it echoing, “Ka-dinka-donka-dinka-donka-dinka …”
(This story has no moral that I can think of. 😉