I just love a story with a happy ending, don't you? This one comes courtesy of a friend who sent it via email instead of posting it – I suppose she didn’t want to put her name on it, but I’m happy to retell it!
The story takes place in a dusty Arizona mining town, sometime in the past. It starts when a tired, dusty old woman rode in on an equally dusty and old pack mule. She tied the old mule to the hitching post. As she stood there, brushing some of the dust from her face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.
The young gunslinger looked at the old woman and laughed, "Hey old woman, have you ever danced?"
The old woman looked up at the gunslinger and said, "No, i never did dance... I never really wanted to."
A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, "Well, you old bag, you're gonna dance now," and started shooting at the old woman's feet. Not wanting to get her toe blown off, the old prospector started hopping around while the crowd laughed. When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.
The old woman turned to her pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers. The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air. The crowd stopped laughing immediately.
The young gunslinger heard the sounds, too, and he turned around very slowly. The silence was almost deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old woman and the large gaping holes of those twin barrels.
The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old woman's hands, as she quietly said, "Son, have you ever kissed a mule's ass?"
The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, "No M'am... but I've always wanted to."
There are a few lessons here:
1. Never be arrogant.
2. Don't waste ammunition.
3. Whiskey makes you think you're smarter than you are.
4. Always, always make sure you know who has the power.
5. Don't mess with old women; we didn't get old by being stupid.