Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sheep Dip

Answer to Mystery Leads to Opening Round in Legal Battle

Carl Vine - October 16, 2008

MONROE TOWNSHIP: In a follow-up to a story that we first brought you in March; we have new information regarding the sheep that went missing from Stonyfield Farm near Johnstown.

The Louisiana Bayou Times reports:

A small flock of sheep were recovered from the waters of the Lower Mississippi River yesterday, by a commercial fisherman, near the town of Point รก la Hache, in Plaquemines Parish.

Strom S. Spindleshank reported that he had been trolling the main channel for the better part of the morning and was about to pull his nets, when he saw something bobbing in the current upstream.

Drawing nearer, he became alarmed by an eerie sound that evoked memories of the plaintiff cries of the river creatures described in stories his Grandpa Spindleshank had told him as a small child.

Gathering his courage and cautiously maneuvering his vessel nearer, Spindleshank could see that the apparition was a group of sheep that were floating in raft-like formation. Mr. Spindleshank skillfully employed his nets to round up the flock and hoist them onto his boat in a single haul.

The herd, numbering 13 ewes and one ram, has since been removed to Spindleshank’s brother’s catfish farm in rural Louisiana, where a veterinarian was able to locate a computer-chip implant on the ram, allowing him to trace the herd back to Monroe Township in Licking County, Ohio.

There, a farmer by the name of Jake Beamer claims to have lost the sheep in the spring flooding that occurred across Ohio this past March.

“I figured they were lost for good,” said Beamer, “I knew it was the creek that took ‘em. I figured they had been flushed through to the Licking River, and might eventually hit the Muskingum or maybe even the Ohio!

“For two days I sat upstream of the Number 2 Lock and Dam to see if maybe they’d float by and I could snag a couple of ‘em. The only livestock I saw pass were a few hogs and one dairy cow. I would’ve tried to catch them, but the cow was too far out in the river, and hogs are hard to get ahold of to begin with - let alone scared, wet hogs with only the business end above water.

“I never figured the whole flock would make it as far as the Mississippi! I’m just glad that Mr. Spindleshank was able to retrieve them before they washed into the Gulf of Mexico!”

A legal battle between the parties is now underway to determine ownership of the errant livestock. Mr. Beamer says that the sheep were his to begin with and they’re still his, though he admits that he owes Spindleshank a finder and recovery fee for his troubles.

A lawyer for Spindleshank is requesting that the courts uphold an 1863 Louisiana law that states; “Any livestock or other chattels, found in or upon the river, shall become the property of the finder - an’ ain’t nothin’ you can do ‘bout it”

According to the lawyer for Spindleshank, a precedent set in the similar case of Lark vs. Tarlton won’t apply in this instance, because that case involved a group of guinea pigs, which can’t properly be considered livestock or chattels… though they make a fine gumbo!

The lawyer contends that the law is clear on this matter, saying, “They’s Cajun sheep now!” and was overheard to say, “Now let’s we all head out to Bubba Spindleshank’s place. I hear he’s havin’ a barbeque!”

We will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they become available.

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