Back in the cowboy days, a westbound wagon train was lost and low on food. No other people had been seen for days. Unexpectedly, they saw an old Jewish man sitting beneath a tree.
The leader rushed up to him and said, “We’re lost. Is there someplace ahead where we can get food?”
“Vell,” the old Jewish man said, “I vould definitely NOT go up dat hill und down other side. Somevun told me you’ll run into a big bacon tree.”
“A bacon tree?” asked the wagon train leader.
“Yah, yah ah bacon tree. Trust me. For nutting vud I lie.”
The leader goes back and tells his people that, if nothing else, they might be able to find food on the other side of the next ridge.
“So why did he say not to go there?” some pioneers asked.
“Oh, you know the Jewish folks – they don’t eat bacon.”
So the wagon train goes up and down the other side. Suddenly, Indians attack and massacre every one except the leader. He manages to escape back to where the old Jewish man is sitting and enjoying his drink.
The near-dead man starts shouting, “You fool! You sent us to our deaths! We followed your instructions, but there was no bacon tree. Just hundreds of Indians. They killed everyone but me.”
The Jewish man holds up his hand and says, “oy, vait a minute, vait a minute.” He gets out an English-Yiddish dictionary and begins thumbing through it.
“Gevalt, I made myself ah big mistake. It vuz not a bacon tree. It vuz a ham bush!”