15

I was talking to someone today who mentioned starting a Terry Pratchett book a few years before.

They said that it was about a dragon who was a lawyer and involved sheep. They think that it is probably a Discworld book. The style was somewhat similar to that of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

What could it be?

  • Googling a few terms I found nothing. – Stormblessed Jul 9 at 18:02
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    "Lawyer dragon and sheep," especially in a Pratchett context, makes me think of "millennium hand and shrimp." – DavidW Jul 9 at 18:39
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    FWIW, other than swamp dragons, the only other dragons I can recall in the entire Discworld series are the dragons of Wyrmburg in The Colour of Magic and the female dragon terrorizing Ankh-Morpork in Guards! Guards! (Not counting the black-ribbon vampire "Dragon King of Arms" in Feet of Clay who was a herald, not a lawyer.) – DavidW Jul 9 at 20:06
  • This sounds much like the sort of thing that would have been in Dragons at Crumbling Castle, although I don't specifically remember if there was anything like this or not. – Admiral Jota Jul 9 at 20:44
38

Replace the dragon with a toad, and you get "The Wee Free Men", the first of Pratchett's Tiffany Aching cycle.

The protagonist is Tiffany Aching, a 9 year old girl who lives on a sheep farm. The sheep are not a major plot point, but a lot of Tiffany's life revolves around them. Thinking about the rest of Pratchett's works, I don't recall any books with a significant presence of sheep.

There's a lawyer character also, but he's a toad, not a dragon. More specifically, he's a human lawyer who's been magically turned into a toad. The toad is hardly the only lawyer on Discworld (Mr. Slant the zombie comes to mind).

The sequels to "The Wee Free Men" are "A Hat Full of Sky", "Wintersmith", "I Shall Wear Midnight", and "The Shepherd's Crown". Those take place (mostly) in the same setting, and toad the lawyer is featured in those, too.

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    Possibly helpful, shmoop.com/wee-free-men/chapter-13-summary.html – FuzzyBoots Jul 9 at 18:16
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    If you are the size of the Wee Free Men, then a toad looks like a dragon. Easy mistake to make, especially if your race is not noted for its deductive reasoning. And yes, sheep feature very prominently in the chronicles of the Wee Free men. – DJClayworth Jul 9 at 20:50
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    Also, the Wee Free Men found lawyers in general to be starkly terrifying, which might have contributed to the perception of the toad's stature. – Ben Barden Jul 9 at 21:11
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    @BenBarden Until they realise they're allowed to have lawyers on their side as well, which is terrifying for everybody else. – Richard Ward Jul 11 at 11:21
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    @RichardWard: leading to (one of) their battle cries, "We've got a cheap lawyer an' we're not afraid to use him!". – Bob Jarvis Jul 11 at 11:49
14

Feet of Clay features:

  • The Dragon King of Arms who is not a real dragon, but a vampire. He is also not a lawyer, but Ankh Morpork’s chief herald. However, he is as close as you can possibly get to the stereotypic evil lawyer without being a lawyer. He is the book’s antagonist.

  • A sheep stampede and a Judas goat. They are partly used as an analogy to the aforementioned Dragon King of Arms breeding humans like sheep. However, these appear very late in the book. The sheep are also not featured on any cover art I could find.

The main story of the book is about a plot of the Dragon King of Arms to reinstate monarchy in Ankh Morpork, golems making their own king, and the City Watch trying to make sense of all of this.

  • Perhaps. But the sheep stampede happens fairly late in the story, it's not something you'd encounter if you'd only started the novel and didn't make significant headway through it. – PM 2Ring Jul 9 at 21:04
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    Worth noting that the title 'Dragon King of Arms' is in line with the titles of real English heraldic officers – there is a current Rouge Dragon Pursuivant, whose name is Adam Tuck. The list of current officers with their titles is here: college-of-arms.gov.uk/about-us/heralds-officers – dbmag9 Jul 10 at 10:50

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