Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sheep ranching ...

After my last post I remembered that I needed to say one more thing about Bill Stockton: he was also an author. In 1983 Stockton published a little volume of brief essays and thin pencil sketches, called Today I Baled Some Hay to Feed the Sheep the Coyotes Eat. It's an inauspicious title, but easily one of the most insightful books ever written about Montana's open spaces and ranch life ... a highly recommended read.

Here's my favorite paragraph from the book, and one of the volumes sketches:
I have no answers to the cruelities of nature on one hand and all her joys on the other; why she has devised so many ways to continue life and just as many ways to destroy it. I often wonder as I watch nature work if death is nothing more than a means of filling life with anticipation, and if life is merely a brief game of hide and seek.


  1. One of our favorite books about ranching...even though it's about sheep. And I think the title so perfectly describes the endless cycle of our work and the sometimes futile feeling.

    Thanks for bringing Stockton to light and sharing him with everyone who might not have ever heard of him. He's a treasure!

  2. Ahh, the old cattle vs. sheep thing! Almost a religious controversy sometimes ... and one that I'd best stay out of. :)

    Hope you're doing well, my friend. It's been a rough winter and I know I've been pretty absent lately ... but I'm going to work on that. Take care.