IMAGE: Buddy the donkey heads to court
Rick Gershon  /  AP
Buddy the donkey is led by ranch operator Etienne Grimmett and owner Gregory Shamoun, right, into court in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday.
updated 4/19/2007 5:56:07 AM ET 2007-04-19T09:56:07

Faced with complaints that his donkey was too loud, Dallas attorney Gregory Shamoun decided to bring his case directly to the court: He had the donkey testify.

Buddy the donkey appeared in court Wednesday. He walked to the bench and stared at the jury, the picture of a gentle, well-mannered creature and not the loud, aggressive animal he had been accused of being.

Shamoun was in a dispute with oilman John Cantrell, who had complained to the city about a storage shed Shamoun was building in his backyard in Dallas. Cantrell said Shamoun retaliated by bringing the donkey from his ranch and putting him in the backyard.

Cantrell complained of donkey noise and manure piles.

“They bray a lot any time day or night. You never know when they’re going to cut loose,” he testified.

Despite the donkey’s appearance, neither jurors or Buddy had the last say — the neighbors settled their dispute while jurors deliberated.

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