Once upon a time, there was a little old couple. Of course, there was a little old man. He was well-educated and sharp as a tack, but grumpy and difficult to speak to. And of course, there was a little old woman, his wife, who had not grown up with an education. She did, however, know her way around social situations, and was well-versed in basic etiquette. She was, in fact, the only person that could talk to the little old man without getting a negative response, and it had been that way for many, many years.
Now, the little old couple lived on the outskirts of a little old village, full of a variety of characters, all of whom had their little quibbles and issues to resolve. It was a rather poor, quiet village, and no doctors or professionals ever seemed to stay for too terribly long. Nevertheless, the people of the village regularly sought advice for dealing with the issues that cropped up in their day-to-day lives, from the one man in town that seemed to have all the answers.
The little old man, of course, was less than thrilled at all of the attention he was receiving. He would answer any question he was asked in a very rude, angry manner, and while the villagers got the information they wanted and needed, they were discouraged from asking for more advice when future troubles cropped up.
One day, a novice tailor stopped by to ask for some advice about finishing his stitches. He was greeted at the door by the kind little old lady, and spoke with her pleasantly and light-heartedly, not wanting to offend her by going straight to her husband. As he spoke with her, the tailor had an idea: why not ask the little old lady his question? If she didn’t know the answer, surely she would be able to ask her husband, the little old man, for the answer! He posed his question to the little old woman, and a few moments later, walked out of the little old house, his question answered and his spirits high.
“What are you so chipper about?” asked a passerby.
“I had my question answered by the little old man,” reported the tailor.
“But surely he made some scathing remark!”
“Ah, but I asked his wife,” the tailor smirked.
From that day forward, the villagers went to the little old woman with their troubles. After all, they wanted the little old man’s answers, not his attitude.