How Deep Is Your Well?

Short Irish Story

Murphy and O’Brien go out into the woods, they come a clearing and see an abandoned well.

“I wonder how deep that well is?” Murphy asked.

O’Brien said, “There’s one way we could figure it out.”

“What’s that?”

“We drop something down it, we time how long it takes to hit the bottom, you multiply that time 32 feet per second squared, the rate at which objects fall in a vacuum, subtract a little for wind resistance and we’ve got the depth of the well.”

“What are you going to drop down it?” Murphy quizzed.

Then O’Brien looked all around. He saw this big heavy log lying on the ground.  He squatted down next to it and using his legs correctly, he got it up onto his shoulders. He staggered over to the edge of the well, dropped it in and they both started counting, “One hippopotamus, two hippopotamus, three…”


“Three seconds!” Murphy yelled.

O’Brien said, “Quick, multiply that times 32 feet per second squared!”

“Two hundred eighty-eight feet,” Murphy said. “Subtract a little for wind resistance, let’s say 18 feet. The depth of that well is 270 feet deep.” Suddenly he reached out, pushing O’Brien backwards. “Look out!” he shouted, just as a goat ran between them, jumping head first down the well.

Murphy stared after it, completely perplexed. “My God, I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Just then a farmer walked into the clearing. “What’s going on here boys?” he asked.

O’Brien piped up, “We just figured out the depth of this well to be about 270 feet deep and then the strangest thing happened. A goat ran between the two of us and jumped straight down it.”

The farmer blew out a sign.”‘Thank heaven it wasn’t one of my goats,” he said.

“How do you know it wasn’t?” Murphy asked.

And the farmer replied, “Because all of my goats are tethered to big heavy logs.”

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