A newly married farmer and his wife were visited by her mother. She demanded an inspection of the new home. The farmer had genuinely tried to be friendly to his new mother-in-law, hoping for a relaxed and happy relationship. Unfortunately, this was to no avail: she kept nagging them at every opportunity, demanding changes, offering unwanted advice, and generally making life unbearable to the farmer and his new bride.
While they were walking through the barn, during the forced inspection, the farmer''s mule suddenly reared up and kicked the mother-in-law in the head, killing her instantly. It was a shock to all no matter their feelings about her demanding ways.
At the funeral service a few days later, the farmer stood near the casket in order to greet the guests as they walked by. The pastor noticed that whenever a woman would whisper something to the farmer, he would nod his head and say something. Whenever a man walked by and whispered to the farmer, however, he would shake his head no, and mumble a reply.
The pastor was very curious aabout this strange behavior, and so he later went to ask the farmer what it was all about. The farmer replied, "The women would say, ''What a terrible tragedy'' and I would nod my head and say ''Yes, it was.'' The men would then ask, ''Can I borrow that mule?'' and I would shake my head and say, ''Sorry, it''s all booked up for a year.''"