3 explorers walked down a cliffside path to the edge of a lake with a local guide. The guide warned them that this area was dangerous because it was home to the giant Foo Bird. if they saw the Foo Bird, they had to remain still or face doom, and whatever they did, they should not run into the lake. The explorers laughed off the story from the guide, whom they thought must be ignorant and superstitious.
As they walked along the shore a shadow passed over them, and they looked up to see the enormous Foo Bird, the size of a full-grown elephant. One of the explorers panicked and started running. The Foo Bird swooped in, let loose a huge torrent of feces, and coated the running explorer, who screamed and yelled “It burns!”
He ran into the lake and when he hit the water he caught fire, screamed a horrible gurgling last gasp, and then sunk beneath the glassy surface, dead.
The two remaining explorers looked at each other and then at the guide, for whom they had some new grudging respect. The Foo Bird soared away above the cliffs.
The next night, as they camped by the lake shore, the second explorer arose to answer nature’s call by moonlight. Suddenly the moon went dark and the rush of feathers filled the air. The second explorer panicked and ran, and the Foo Bird swooped in and let loose a giant gobbet of burning excrement, hitting the second explorer right in the face.
He screamed “It burns!” and ran blindly in terror, stumbled into the lake, hit the water, caught fire, and sank dying beneath the surface.
The next morning the last explorer and the guide broke camp and started to march away from the shore to the cliffs, after saying a few words of remembrance for their departed companions. The sky darkened once more, and though the third explorer tried to stay still, she blinked and the Foo Bird swooped down and covered her in poop. The Foo Bird flew away above the cliffs once more.
She did not run and jump in the lake, having witnessed the horrible death of her companions.
The guide wiped her off and helped her change out of the soiled clothes, and they escaped the lake shore without further incident.
The moral of the story is:
If the Foo shits, wear it
My Silent Generation father taught this shaggy dog story to me around 1980 when I was 8.