legionnaires walking through the desert under a baking sun. They were
fully equipped with enough dehydrated water tablets for days, and food
aplenty. On the shimmering horizon mirages came and went and came again,
visions of swimming pools attended by dusky maidens, stalls full of ice-cream,
sorbets, freshly-whipped smoothies of every conceivable flavour. But to
no avail, the legionnaires did not crack, but kept marching solidly on.
Suddenly one of them froze, "Psssst" said he. His companions
halted, and strained their eyes to where the first legionnaire was pointing.
"Le voila", said he, "Regardez, mes amis, isn't that a
bacon tree on the horizon" ? And sure enough, there it stood, proudly
and defiant in the middle of the desert, a true bacon tree. Slowly they
crept forward towards the mystery object afar off. Inch by inch, centimetre
by centimetre, until they were within a stone's throw of the bacon tree.
Even nearer they crept, and suddenly, a shot rang out, dropping one of
the legionnaires in his tracks. The other two returned fire, and gave
first aid to their wounded companion.
Even as they bandaged him, and poured water over his face, they could
hear his faint voice: "That was no bacon tree," he gasped, "that
was a ham bush."