A man named Rupert lived with his dog in a house deep in the woods. Rupert was a hunter and a trapper. The dog was a big German shepherd named Sam. Rupert had raised Sam from a pup.
Almost every morning Rupert went hunting, and Sam stayed behind and guarded this house. One morning, as Rupert was checking his traps, he got the feeling that something was wrong at home.
He hurried back as fast as he could, but when he got there he found that Sam was missing. He searched the house and the woods nearby, but Sam was nowhere to be seen. He called and he called, but the dog did not answer. For days Rupert looked for Sam, but he could find no trace of him.
Finally he gave up and went back to his work. But one morning he heard something moving in the attic. He picked up his gun. Then he thought, “I’d better be quiet about this.”
So he took off his boots. And in his bare feet he began to climb the attic stairs. He slowly took one step – then another – then another, until at last he reached the attic door.
He stood outside listening, but he didn’t hear a thing. Then he opened the door, and –
(At this point, the storyteller stops, as if he has finished. Then usually somebody will ask, “Why did Rupert scream?”
The storyteller replies, “You’d scream too if you stepped on a nail in your bare feet.”)