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(large pic) Long ago, before there were factories or gas stations, in a green valley not too far from here there lay a small village. The people in the village were herdsmen like their grandparents and their grandparents' grandparents. All these herders loved the green valley. They loved how the grass grew high, how the water from the well was always cold and clear and fresh, and the how the hills could carry a song for miles. They would sing “Heyhey, maymay, ladiddydaydayo” and the sheep would merrily join in “Baaahh, baahh.” And they meant it. 2. (small pic) Each family had a small corral for their sheep to sleep at night, and there was one large pasture on two hillsides to the north for everybody to share. In the morning, the herders took their flock out to pasture. The sheep chewed the sweet grass lazily in the sun, and the herders would guard them while singing songs and telling each other stories. In the late afternoon, the herders would take each of their five sheep back home to the corral. When the sun went down, the herders sang the sheep to sleep, then they went to sleep themselves. 3. (small pic) Once or twice a month the herders went to a nearby town with the wool from the sheep, and there they would trade it for other things like beans, cow's milk, dye, sugar, and vegetables. Sometimes they would get money, but never very much; each herder family only had five sheep each, and the price of wool was not very high. So, although the herders had food, water and wool, and happiness, they were very poor, and sometimes they got a little bored. (small pic) 4. (small pic) One day, a herder named Joe decided he was tired of being poor, and he said to his wife Joanne: “If we get more than just five sheep, we can make more wool, and that means more money!" He got excited. "We'll be the richest family in town.” "Then," asked Joanne, “Won't there be less grass?” Said Joe, “Grass is everywhere in this valley, and it's free! It won't matter at all if we use a little extra grass.” (small pic) The next day, Joe got three more sheep. 5. (small pic) That afternoon at the pasture, Joe's neighbor Hanna saw Joe's extra sheep. “Are those all your sheep?” she asked Joe. “Yep,” said Joe, smiling. “More sheep means more money. The grass is free, after all. If you want to get rich with me, you should do the same thing.” Hanna thought that was a good idea. The
the village flock began to grow. (small pic) Soon. a scarf.” The other herders heard this. but we never used to. 7... and the herders became more and more jealous of each other. we weren't muddy all the . and she had just recovered from a serious illness. Each thought. their teeth go deep into the soil and pull up the plant by the root. Thistle and BessyLynn were members of Joe's flock. One of the herders asked Hanna. many more sheep in the pasture. There weren't so many of us back then. (large pic) The next morning. 11. It takes a long time for grass to grow back after a sheep eats it. why do sheep get sick?" "I don't know. then so can I. 6. and a flute. “Joe has three new sheep. Joe bought a new hat and some honey beer. She was young and very inquisitive. I have five new sheep. there were many. (small pic) "Auntie Clover says in the old days. (small pic) A week later. They looked at Hanna's new scarf and Joe's new hat and they turned green with envy. Thistle wasn't even one year old. (large pic) When the herders went to town to sell their wool. Many herdsmen desired to be the richest in the village. He gave me the idea. BessyLynn was Thistle's mother. the village of herders noticed something a little strange: there were several more sheep in the pasture than usual. Joe made more money than usual too. the more five sheep seemed like a pitiful little flock.. (small pic) *note passage of seasons? A month went by. (small pic) Here's a note about sheep teeth: When they eat grass. "Mommy.. dear. 9. Hanna bought candy cakes. Hanna got five more sheep to add to her flock.. Ask she did. (small pic) 2 months." Bessy wished Thistle would ask about something besides illness.” 8. (small pic) 5 months.. “Do you know why there are so many more sheep in the field today?” “Well. he would try to catch up. The other herders couldn't buy anything. 10. as they headed out to pasture. (large pic) A year. Thus. “If Hanna and Joe can do that. As soon as one herder discovered that another herder had more sheep..more she thought about it. It was getting very crowded. when she was a lamb.” Hanna replied.. and certainly nobody wanted to be the poorest. and they were jealous. Hanna made a lot of money.. now he wanted to buy more. Even Joe was embarrassed that he had only bought three new sheep.
There are just too many sheep in this valley.time.” said Joe. they knew they would need their rest. too many sheep!" cried Thistle loudly.” “If we limit ourselves. Joe and Hanna could tell that the sheep were miserable and not healthy. just like our skin keeps us together. The sheep scattered to get around. gripping her neighbors' hands tightly." explained Bessie. even though most of the herders liked what Joe and Hanna said. In a matter of minutes. “This can't go on!” Hanna said. a boy arrived with his family's sheep.” said Joe. One evening they agreed to speak to all the other herders. stood handin hand with their families. and the whole hill sloshes away as mud. If we don't.” she asked. and the others knew that there was nothing stopping those few from having all the sheep they wanted.” (small pic) Most of the herders agreed. He was very surprised to see a fence of people blocking his path. “Joe. So. Said one herder." "Does the mud make us sick?" "No. (small pic) 14. “How can we trust you? I think you just want everybody else to get rid of their sheep. nobody agreed to get rid of sheep. then maybe it will only last a few more years. Hanna and Joe got together to discuss the problem again. When it rains. But I do think the mud and the sickness happen for the same reason because it's crowded.” Joe explained. Hanna and Joe.” said Hanna. “What's this all about?” said the bewildered boy. “Who needs rules and regulations? We want freedom!” 13. “Then this valley will last for our children and our children's children. But a few argued. several figures stood between hillsides blocking the dirt road to the pasture with their bodies. “There are just too many sheep in this valley. He didn't want to take half of . but the brush was too dense and the terrain was rough. so you can be the richest folks in town!” A third said stubbornly. Every family should limit themselves to just ten sheep. The grass keeps the hill together. “can you wake up a little earlier tomorrow morning?” “Sure. But the grass doesn't grow back fast enough anymore. "But for what?" “All we need is a crowd of people. Now we have a chance to make money. (large pic) By the time the sun began to rise. “We're the people who want to live with a green pasture. (small pic) Wahhhh." 12.” said Hanna. “We've always been poor. Hanna had an idea. (small pic) That night. and Joe agreed it was a good one. coughing and sneezing. Everybody went to sleep early that night. the water soaks the ground. She explained her idea. They asked their family and friends for some help. “If you want to get in here with more than ten sheep. A few herders refused outright. and you are trying to stop us!” Another one said to Hanna and Joe. and most everybody they asked agreed that the plan was worth trying. It seemed that the commons was doomed. you have to get through us. I don't think so. The boy had about twenty sheep. Why are we all so muddy all the time now?" "Because there's less grass than there used to be. tiredeyed but pleased with themselves.
Some farmers booed and hissed. we need to make sure the valley is livable. It's better for everybody this way.” Hanna said. The boy's father pushed himself to the front of the crowd and asked a woman who had tucked herself into the human fence: “What's going on here?” The woman replied. “Hanna and Joe again!” said his mother angrily. “Friends. we can sell them for you today. “Ten sheep is plenty. (large pic) The sheep got louder and more upset. Now we have more sheep and more money. If you want to get in with more than ten sheep. “Bahh. What he saw instead were dozens of other herders linking arms. You can keep your extra sheep if you want. which gave everybody more free time to chitchat. ladiddydaydayo!” The sheep would lazily echo. but look and see! The almost the whole town agrees that can't eat here.” The boy and his father returned to the fence and realized that he couldn't see Joe or Hanna anywhere.them back home. He left ten sheep with Hanna and Joe and took the rest back to his family's house. and their shiny wool became top quality.” 16. two horsedrawn wagons appeared. and so did the people. and the other by Hanna. For years and years or families were happy with five sheep. (large pic) Through spring and summer. . And now the herders discovered that they were happier with fewer sheep. but we're destroying our land and our friendship. draw. “Those crazy hoofheads have really done it this time. weave. the grass began to grow back. Just when everybody thought that things would get violent. bahh. cook. hungry sheep. stare up at the sky and sing: “Heyhey.” announced Joe. everybody agreed to sell all but ten sheep each. all the sheep would starve. In the end. One of them was driven by Joe. maymay. and hundreds of noisy. “If we're going to live in this valley. you'll need to get through all of us. please. “there are just too many sheep here. Families could take turns watching each others' sheep. but most of them cheered. 15. sing. but he didn't want to argue either. dance. and you should go somewhere else or they will go hungry. Only ten sheep per family. If anybody wants to sell their sheep. thick grass. (large pic) “A fence of people? What do you mean a fence of people?” said his father. The sheep grew fat and healthy. they knew that if their common pasture disappeared. We need to sell most of our sheep.” 17. more herders of them crowded in front of them yelling like mad. and then so would the people.” And they meant it. or just lay in the soft.