Big Horn Sheep

foto by Kat Livengood


we drive

and we


and then we get out of the truck

and we


and we


and if we get lucky

we find




Big Horns

foto by Kat Livengood

This version of the legend comes from Frank Linderman's 1915 collection Indian Why Stories.

"Old Man" made a great many mistakes in making things in the world, but he worked until he had everything good. I told you at the beginning that Old-man made mistakes, but I didn't tell you what they were, so now I shall tell you.

One of the things he did that was wrong, was to make the Big-Horn to live on the plains. Yes, he made him on the plains and turned him loose, to make his living there. Of course the Big-Horn couldn't run on the plains, and Old-man wondered what was wrong. Finally, he said: "Come here, Big-Horn!" and the Big-Horn came to him. Old-man stuck his arm through the circle his horns made, and dragged the Big-Horn far up into the mountains. There he set him free again, and sat down to watch him. Ho! It made Old-man dizzy to watch the Big-Horn run about on the ragged cliffs. He saw at once that this was the country the Big-Horn liked, and he left him there. Yes, he left him there forever, and there he stays, seldom coming down to the lower country.

While Old-man was waiting to see what the Big-Horn would do in the high mountains, he made an Antelope and set him free with the Big-Horn. Ho! But the Antelope stumbled and fell down among the rocks. He couldn't run at all; could hardly stand up. So Old-man called to the Antelope to come back to him, and the Antelope did come to him. Then he called to the Big-Horn, and said:

"You are all right, I guess, but this one isn't, and I'll have to take him somewhere else."

He dragged the Antelope down to the prairie country, and set him free there. Then he watched him a minute; that was as long as the Antelope was in sight, for he was afraid Old-man might take him back to the mountains.

He said: "I guess that fellow was made for the plains, all right, so I'll leave him there"; and he did. That is why the Antelope always stays on the plains, even to-day. He likes it better.



More Big Horn

foto by Kat Livengood


Fast Big Horn Facts

Average life span in the wild:
6 to 15 years
5 to 6 ft (1.5 to 1.8 m)
117 to 279 lbs (53 to 127 kg)
Group name:
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:








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burning old man gloom...Zozobra

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