The Farmer walks by one day holding a large hammer. “Aha!” say the Cattle, “He’s a Hammerist!” Two days later, however, the Farmer is seen by the Cattle to be toting a saw. “Nope,” reconsider some of the Cattle,  sagely, “He’s a Sawist.”  Some of the Cattle snort in response to that proclamation. “He only wants you to think he’s a Sawist because we caught him being a Hammerist. He’s definitely a Hammerist.” Likewise, and later that same day, a select few of the Cattle happen to see the Farmer behind the cow shed,  worrying a plank, with what they construe as furtive impatience,  with a rusty old auger. It seems to these witnesses that this rare glimpse of a hidden Truth reveals  All to them, but they keep the information to themselves and exchange knowing glances when dispersed in the general body of the livestock that afternoon.

The very next week, at the crack of dawn, the Farmer is seen by the Cattle to be toting a strange device they can’t identify. “Thankgod he’s no longer a Hammerist,” exclaim some of the Cattle. “Hammerists are the worst! Now we have hope! A new day is dawning!”

The brand new captive bolt gun is ready for use.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR [letters are vetted for cogency and style]

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