There is a joke about a Dumb Blonde where she is found sleeping with headphones on. The others think she must have forgotten them on and helpfully take them off for her. Later she's found inexplicably dead. Turns out the tape she was listening to went "breathe in — breathe out — breathe in...".
A tale about a donkey who died of hunger between two equally big piles of hay. The story is commonly known as "Buridan's Ass", though the idea predates Buridan, and can even be found as far back as Aristotle:
"...a man, being just as hungry as thirsty, and placed in between food and drink, must necessarily remain where he is and starve to death..." - Aristotle, On the Heavens
Every nation has a whole genre of anecdotes depicting its neighbours as this.