Welcome, said Harlan, to the “Class of 2017” first-year orientation at Weohryant University. It is my pleasure to introduce the Weohryant faculty who will be facilitating your education for the next four years. To my left is the co-founder of our college, Dr. Blurtso Lundif. Mr. Lundif will be teaching What-101 every Monday in his barn from noon until dusk. To my right is Ms. Bonny Bray. Bonny will be your guide through the “Masterpieces of World Literature” reading list. She will be available on Thursdays during the day, and will serve home-made pumpkin pie that same evening here in the main house. To Bonny’s right is Pablo the Gardener. Mr. Gardener will be teaching When-101 on Tuesdays from sunrise until noon at the Clippety Clop Animal Refuge and Co-Op. And I, said Harlan, am Dr. Harlan de Borneo. I will be guiding your journey through Where-101 every Wednesday on the Boston Common from sometime after breakfast until sometime before lunch. Finally, my colleagues and I would like to wish you all a hearty welcome to the maiden voyage of Weohryant University, and congratulate you for being selected as the inaugural class of this revered institution.
Blurtso did not always wake with joy in his heart. In fact sometimes he was downright morose. This was one of those days. What’s the point, thought Blurtso, of one more morning and one more afternoon, and all those minutes in between. What’s the point of all that effort? Despite his spirit the sun was rising and the dew was shining on the grass. Well… he said without enthusiasm, here I go, putting one hoof in front of another… and another… and another. The sun was soaking the grass and Blurtso could feel the dew on his ankles, and the spongy earth added a bounce to his gait. Hmmmm, thought Blurtso, enjoying the bounce and the hop and feeling the air in his lungs. His shoulders and haunches grew warm and his hoofs moved easily across the field. That’s better thought Blurtso, skimming his nose on the grass, that’s more like it he said, slipping into a trot, that’s the point, he said with a smile, that’s what it is, he said, hopping and skipping across the field.
O.k., said the professor, let’s try number three. Two trucks, each filled with pumpkin pies, are going to the Whipped Cream Factory. The first truck leaves fifteen minutes before the second truck and drives at a speed of forty-five miles per hour. The second truck drives at fifty-five miles per hour. There is a donkey in the back of each truck. The donkey in the first truck can eat seventeen pumpkin pies in an hour, and the donkey in the second truck can eat twenty-one pies in an hour…
There are three bridges, the first at five miles, the second at ten, and the third at fifteen. Both trucks can travel only twenty miles per hour on the bridges. Each bridge is a quarter mile long. O.k., the question is… at the moment when the second truck overtakes the first, which donkey will have eaten more pumpkin pie? Who would like to give this a shot?… How about you in the front row, the one with the boxing-glove nose… Me? said Blurtso. Yes, said the professor, which donkey will have eaten more pumpkin pie? Neither, said Blurtso. Neither? said the professor. They will have both eaten the same. The same? said the professor. Yes, said Blurtso, each donkey will have eaten as much pumpkin pie as he could.