Do the Amish Laugh?

The Budget is a weekly Amish-Mennonite newspaper, established in 1890, that is published out of Sugarcreek, Ohio. “Scribes” write in once a week from church districts all over the United States, Canada, and many countries, to share news of their community.

You can learn a great deal about Amish life through reading The Budget…what’s important to them (face-to-face visits!), what’s on their mind, the way nature is a vital part of a rural life.

I had a radio interview recently where the host asked me if the Amish laugh. (Are you kidding me?! Did an educated radio host really ask that question…on live radio?)

This story, taken from October 21, 2009, answers that question:

We had this horse, a horse with a history of balking and a chronic limp. We could not use him anymore and disliked the idea of shooting him so we put a “free horse” ad in the newspaper. We received lots of calls and eventually someone came for him. One call, however, was different, and went as follows:

“Hello, I’m calling about the house.”

“House? I’m not sure what you mean.”

“Perhaps I have the wrong number. Is this 743-9577?”

“That’s right.”

“Well, it says here in the paper that you’ve got a free standard bred house.”

The conversation concluded soon thereafter because the caller did not need a horse at all, only a new pair of spectacles.

But the question remains, what is a standardbred house?

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Mocha with Linda says:

    It's amazing the assumptions people make!

  2. remnant reminscences says:

    I'm a Hutterite (part of the Anabaptist group) and this summer we hired a teacher that apparently knows everybody in the town she comes from. You should hear some of the questions people ask her about us! Yes, one of them them was: Can Hutterites laugh?

    Englishers amaze me.

    Just started your book today. Not sure what to think. A lot of drama, too sad. I'm just at the part where Daniel dead! I can't believe you killed him! He died with a burdened conscience! I'm sad now…I wanted Daniel and Carrie to redeem each other…sigh!