I found this story amusing though I suppose for the wrong reasons.
Yaakov, a farmer living in Israel’s Galilee region, was giving a tour of his farm to his new mother-in-law. The newlywed farmer genuinely tried to be friendly to his new mother-in-law, hoping that it could be a friendly, non-antagonistic relationship. All to no avail though, as she kept nagging him at every opportunity, demanding changes, offering unwanted advice, and generally making life unbearable for Yaakov and his new bride.
When they were walking through the barn, Yaakov’s mule suddenly reared up and kicked the mother-in-law, killing her instantly. It was a shock to all no matter their feelings towards her.
At the funeral services, Yaakov and his wife sat as well-wishers paid their respects. The rabbi, however, noticed that whenever a woman would whisper something to Yaakov he would nod his head “yes,” and say something. Whenever a man walked by and whispered to Yaakov, however, he would shake his head “no,” and mumble a reply.
Very curious as to this bizarre behavior, the rabbi later ask Yaakov what that was all about.
Yaakov replied, “the woman 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, can’t. It’s all booked up for a year”
Excerpt from Experiencing Spirituality: finding meaning through storytelling by Ernest Kurtz