"...gave it another try, and the tank it rolled backward again through another guardrail and down an embankment."
Then the little tank cried and cried. "Oh, try harder, little tank," Jeffrey said. The little tank roared and road and spun its treads, but went nowhere. The little tank, it just couldn't. The little tank was sad. Jeffrey patted it and sat beside it until the Sheriff came to help. He dried off its tears so it wouldn't rust.
The Sheriff was a big, happy man, like Santa Claus without a beard. "Oh no, little tank," he said. "You've got yourself in quite a pickle. Why were you playing so close to the freeway? You might have been hurt!"
He was right. The little tank and Jeffrey had rolled backwards all across the freeway, down an embankment and nearly into a cold, wet ditch. Then they had climbed out, the treads of the little tank going "clank-clank-clank," and tried to climb the big hill again. They crossed the freeway three times and never looked both ways. Or even one way. And there were cars and trucks zooming right past!
The little tank started to cry again. Jeffrey cried, too. Their Mommies had told them to never, ever play near the freeway.
The Sheriff was nice. He told them they were very lucky, and not to cry because they were safe now. He gave both of them hankies that had a star and the word "SHERIFF" on them in big, gold letters. The Sheriff got on his radio and called their Mommies and a big, big wrecker. Jeffrey and the little tank were going to okay.
The text of the original story, filed by one of those scribbling, barely-literate hacks at a local newspaper, far from the lofty heights of A major wire service Provider, seems remarkably free of such child-like distortions. A gem among those poor, benighted savages who eat raw meat and type using only the index fingers of both unwashed hands. Isn't that amazing?
Yahoo link. Be sure to read the ads, lest you make the baby Mammon cry! Can't find the story on A Professional wire service's site, or I'd give them a link, too, free for nothin'. Here's a screencap, edited down to the minimum.
(Note to A--- P---'s legal department: do a search on "parody" and "fair use," mmmm-kay?)
(N.B. In the old days, a story like this, sent over a teletype circuit at a blazing 50 Baud, would have broken out in "BUST IT BUST IT BUST IT" a few words after the glitch, followed by a resend under a slugline that included "RESENDING." 'Cos you don't want to send stuff like that to the paying customers at newspapers and broadcast stations.)