Freedom of speech for dogs and a 90-year-old woman who caught a fox

 

ALLEN FOSTER: IRISH TIMES ODDITIES

90-YEAR-OLD WOMAN CATCHES FOX

To nonagenarian Bridget W McCormack, Laragan, Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim, who hobbles about with the aid of a stick, goes pride of place for her grit. Entering her fowl-house on Saturday night, she saw a fox, carrying a turkey, endeavouring to escape through a ventilation opening. The fox got stuck, and the turkey escaped, but Mrs McCormack caught the fox by its brush and dragged him with her to her kitchen door, which she jammed on the brush. Her shouts brought her son, who killed the animal with a hay-fork. Mrs McCormack will receive eight shillings reward from the County Committee of Agriculture, who have placed that price on each fox killed. The fox pest has become so menacing of late that instructors of the County Committees of Leitrim and Roscommon have been advocating the setting up of game keeping parties, as well as the release of supplies of cartridges, for the destruction of the vermin. Farmer’s wives have lost whole flocks of turkeys, geese and other fowl this winter, and sportsmen report that foxes have even set out to attack and carry away pheasants and other game, while farmers have suffered the loss of sheep and lambs which the foxes have carried off to their dens at night.

January 1st, 1946

CODFISH SWALLOWED BIBLE

The cod is notorious for being a most voracious fish. It greedily swallows every kind of edible matter which comes within its reach. Its appetite knows no limits. The cod lately caught in the net of a Dundee fisherman was no exception to this general rule. It was duly brought to land, offered for sale, and purchased. On being opened for cleaning purposes it was discovered, greatly to the astonishment of the cook, that this wonderful and pious fish contained in that domestic department, commonly called the stomach, a Bible bound in calf, bearing on the title-page the name of William Sim, and the date 1830. A cod’s stomach is exceedingly powerful, but the digestion of a Bible bound in calf was beyond the capacity of this intelligent fish.

March 7th, 1874

A MONKEY BURGLAR

When Mr Christopherson returned to his flat in the evening, he found everything movable had been overturned. Contents of drawers and cupboards were strewn about the floor, writes Reuter’s Copenhagen Correspondent. But one of the locks had been forced, and the only opening was a little window – with a sheer wall beneath it. It seemed an impossible climb. Mr Christopherson went carefully through his possessions and found nothing was missing. He sent for the police, who examined the handprints – they were only the size of a child’s.

A monkey was found to have escaped from its mistress, a girl who lived nearby, and to have carried out the raid.

December 14th, 1934

DOG’S FREEDOM OF SPEECH

When a dog barks it is only exercising its right to freedom of speech, according to Judge Leon Edelman, of Chicago.

He has dismissed an action brought against a man whose dog was accused of disturbing the neighbours by barking at night (states Reuters). He advised the defendant to try to teach the dog to “keep better barking hours”.

December 21st, 1933