Animal rights activists, look away now. Dodgy Perth presents a horrible tale of goat cruelty from 1905. The scene is Hare Street, Kalgoorlie, around 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
An elderly man, Owen O’Neill, drives his cart up to Edward Chidlow’s house and screams out that the occupant is “a EXPLETIVE DELETED murderer” and “a EXPLETIVE DELETED convict”. The old gentleman dares Edward to come out and settle this like a real man.
Receiving no response, Owen slowly pulls away, continuing to yell abuse.
What could have caused such drama? As it turns out, the death of Owen’s beloved goat.
He had owned a milch goat which much appreciated in Kal. One small girl had been so sick she could consume nothing but a little goat’s milk. Now the goat was dead, and the little girl cried all the time.
Did we forget to mention how the goat died? Edward had lured it from Owen’s premises, shot it, and cut its throat.
The heartbroken Owen walked up to the murderer and asked: “Did you kill this goat?” Edward calmly, and somewhat harshly, replied with a simple “Yes.”
After that, every time he encountered the old man, Edward put his fingers to his nose and baa-a-aa at him like his poor deceased goat.
Of course the whole thing ended up in court. Owen was found guilty of using abusive language in a public place and heavily fined, with the threat of one month’s hard labour if he failed to pay.
The goat murderer, of course, walked free. Justice? It ain’t what it used to be.