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?

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