My Grandmother Paula had a strange, inventive and biting German sense of humor. I remember far too few examples of what appealed to her comedic sense, but I have just remembered a joke that she loved to tell. It gives me great pleasure to publicize this joke on the internet, but please be forewarned: you're not going to like it.
Three turtles decided to go out to a tea-house for tea. They were worried that it might rain, but they decided to go anyway. When they got to the tea-house, they ordered tea and cookies. While waiting for their order, they looked outside, and it looked like it was going to rain hard. So they decided that the third turtle should go home and fetch their umbrellas.
The third turtle did not want to leave. He said, "If I go home to get our umbrellas, you'll eat my cookie."
"No, no," the others said. "We won't eat your cookie."
It took some arguing, but at last, the third turtle got off his chair and crept away.
The waiter brought the tea and cookies to the table. After he had set the food down, the two turtles ate their own cookies and drank their tea. Then they stared at the third turtle's cookie. But of course, they had promised not to eat it.
A long time passed. A very long time.
The first turtle said to the second, "It looks like he's not coming back. Let's eat his cookie."
When the first turtle said that, a little turtle voice piped up from floor next to the tea-house door, saying, "If you eat my cookie, I won't get your umbrellas."