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Fifteen and Threepence: The Runaway Goat

on 21/08/2014

Many years ago in Portland in Western Victoria, there was a goat named 15/3d or fifteen and threepence. He was so named because he had escaped from the farm where he lived and was captured and taken to the Pound. His owner had to pay 15/3d to retrieve him from the Pound and that was how he got his name.

There was an area at the back of our property that was too rough to be mowed by a Victa mower and so we borrowed 15/3d so he could eat the grass. He was tethered by a thick rope around his neck which was attached to a stake in the ground. Each day he would be moved to a different spot in the yard and eventually he ate his way through the long grass and weeds. I was very scared of him because if I went near him he would lower his head and begin to charge at me. Thank goodness he was tethered to a stake.

One morning we discovered that he had escaped from our yard by chewing through the thick rope and was nowhere to be found. There were several sightings of the goat during the next couple of days but by the time Doug heard about it and went there, he had once again disappeared. A few days later, as I was waiting to be served in a shop on my way home from work, I overheard the shopkeeper telling some customers about a runaway goat. Of course I pricked up my ears and listened to her story.

The shopkeeper laughingly said “At lunch time today, all of a sudden, a goat came running down the middle of the main street past my shop. A rope was trailing behind him, so he must have escaped from somewhere.” This lady, who could hardly speak from laughing so much, went on “A Policeman was chasing him, running as fast as he could, red-faced and huffing and puffing as he tried to catch up to him.” She said the Policeman was finally able to grab hold of the rope and managed to make the goat slow down and stop. Another Policeman had quickly driven up with sirens and lights flashing alongside the goat and the out-of-breath Policeman. He screeched to a stop, jumped out of the Police wagon and after a big struggle both Policemen managed to get the goat into the back of the Police wagon. As it was lunch time people had lined both sides of the street watching this hilarious spectacle and wondering where this troublesome goat had come from.

After a while 15/3d had finally been apprehended and was now in was in Police custody. This runaway goat could cause no more trouble and was transported once again to the Pound.

The lady in the shop who was entertaining her other customers with her story, added that she had heard from another customer that a poor old lady who had gone out of her front door that very morning to bring in her bottle of milk for her breakfast, only to be confronted by this runaway goat which was on her front veranda chomping on her prize roses! She shrieked, nearly fainted and as quickly as she could, retreated inside to the safety of her house and promptly called the Police. By the time they arrived 15/3d had disappeared once again finally turning up in the middle of town.

Trying not to let on that I knew where this goat had come from I bought my fruit and veges and drove home as quickly as I could, bursting to tell Doug that 15/3d had been caught and was now in Police custody. We quickly drove to the Police Station only to find that the goat was no longer there but had been taken to the Pound. The Policeman laughingly told Doug that he was sure 15/3d had enjoyed his ride in the back of the Paddy Wagon.

When we reached the Pound, sure enough there was the runaway goat. The man at the Pound helped load 15/3d onto the back of Doug’s Ute. Doug sat in the back with 15/3d while I drove the Ute to the farm where the runaway goat was put in a paddock where he lived out the rest of his life, never allowing anyone to come near him ever again.


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