Who owns the cows?
After his graduation from college, the son of a Spanish lawyer was considering his future. He went to his father and asked if he might be given a desk in the corner from which he could observe his fatherís activities and be introduced to his fatherís clients as a clerk. His observations would help him decide whether or not to become a lawyer. His father thought this was a great idea and immediately helped to set it up.

The first client the next morning was a tenant farmer--a rough man with calloused hands who was dressed in workmanís clothing. He said,

"Mr. Lawyer, I work for the Gonzales farm on the east side of town. For many years I have tended their crops and animals, including some cows. I have raised the cows, fed them and looked after them. And I was always given the understanding and the belief that I was the owner of these cows. Now Mr. Gonzales has died and his son has inherited the farm. He believes that since the cows were raised on his land and ate his hay, the cows are his. In short, we are in dispute over who owns the cows."

The lawyer said, "Thank you. I have heard enough. I will take your case. Don't worry about the cows!"

The next client to come in, a young and well-dressed young man, was obviously a landowner. He said, "My name is Gonzales and I own a farm on the east side of town. We have a tenant farmer who has worked for my family for many years, tending crops and the animals, including some cows. I believe the cows belong to me because they were raised on my land and were fed my hay. But the tenant farmer believes they are his because he raised them and cared for them. In short, we are in dispute over who owns the cows."

The lawyer said, "Thank you. I have heard enough. I will take your case. Don't worry about the cows!"

After the client left, the lawyerís son could not help but express his concern. "Father, I know very little about the law, but it seems we have a very serious problem concerning these cows."

"Donít worry about the cows!" the lawyer said. "The cows will be ours!"

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