Montana folklore

Sheep Herder's Lawsuit

A Montana Folktale

Retold by S.E. Schlosser

A sheep herder from Montana fell afoul of the law and hired a lawyer to get him off if he could. The lawyer realized that it was an open and shut case, and advised the sheep herder to pretend that he had a bit of Sheep Herder's Complaint.

Sheep Herder's Complaint strikes the average man who is surrounded by the ever present baa-ing of sheep every day, week after week, year after year. Soon, the sheep herder's vowel sounds all begin to sound like the bleating of a sheep.

When this particular sheep herder had his day in court, he followed his lawyer's advice and answered every question with a mournful bleat like a sheep. The judge finally threw the case out, concluding that the sheep herder was incompetent and a complete numbskull from his constant contact with his flock.

Outside in the hallway, his lawyer congratulated him on winning the case, and said: "Now, how about my fee?"

"Baa" replied the sheep herder and left the courthouse.


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This may be true.My Great grandparents ran a sheep ranch in Montana.He had his sheep pens lit on fire and they all burned.He also had the biggest barn in Montana at one time as well.But anyway he did go through the cattle and sheep wars.I was talking to my aunt one day and she told me that she dated a boy in her youth and he told her his father was the one that lit her Grandfathers sheep pens and barn on fire.This was after I spoke to the woman who's father bought the Ranch in 1913 that when she was a little girl she would find nails every day on the way home from school and the long road to her home and she would lay them on a big rock close to her house.I know this has nothing to do with the baa-ing sheep but a great deal of fighting went on in those days from I have been told.I even spoke to that womans brother and he confirmed her story and also told me that he actually has the original deeds to the Ranch.My great grandfather was alloted this land by the Butcher Creek Agency for his service to the Company.

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Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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