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The disappearing farmer storyCheck this possible source: http://www.castleofspirits.com/strangediss.html It is possible that some version of the "original" appeared in several magazines during the 1950s. Maybe that's where you first saw it.

2015 Special Edition Garden GuideCooking Fresh with The Old Farmer's AlmanacThe Almanac Monthly Digital MagazineWhat the heck is a Garden Hod?