A Sense of Humor (From The Wheel of Time)

As Rand gets to know the Aiel as “his people,” he often makes remarks to himself about their odd sense of humor. In Lord of Chaos, in the chapter called “A Sense of Humor,” he turns to face the Maidens who claim he has no sense of humor, and he tells them the following story:

An irascible old farmer named Hu discovered one morning that his best rooster had flown into a tall tree beside his farm pond and wouldn’t come down, so he went to his neighbor, Wil, and asked for help. The men had never gotten along, but Wil finally agreed, so the two men went to the pond and began climbing the tree, Hu first. They meant to frighten the rooster out, you see, but the bird only kept flying higher, branch by branch. Then, just as Hu and the rooster reached almost the very top of the tree, with Wil right behind, there was a loud crack, the branch under Hu’s feet broke away, and down he went into the pond, splashing water and mud everywhere. Wil scrambled down as fast as he could and reached out to Hu from the bank, but Hu just lay there on his back, sinking deeper into the mud until only his nose stuck out of the water. Another farmer had seen what happened, and he came running and pulled Hu out of the pond. “Why didn’t you take Wil’s hand?” he asked Hu. “You could have drowned.” “Why should I take his hand now?” Hu grumped. “I passed him just a moment ago in broad daylight, and he never spoke a word to me.”

I’m as clueless as the Maidens on this one. I can’t figure out why it’s supposed to be funny, though I know it’s not about the water or the rooster. Can anyone explain why Rand al’Thor would tell this particular story to prove that he has a sense of humor? What’s the punchline?

Christina Gleason (975 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I'm a multiply disabled autistic woman doing my best in this world built for abled people. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including Twitch Sings and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.

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