Page 48

Reg’s

pages from history

Nepenthes

It Makes a Bloody Good Read!

The Clever Goats of Gibraltar words | Reg Reynolds

Monkeys, although major tourist attractions, are the main animal pest in Gibraltar these days, more than a century ago the major nuisances were goats. The problem of goats trespassing and eating up gardens became so great that in 1883 a law was passed to control illegal grazing. Although the law was meant to cover all animals, only goats and kids were mentioned specifically. The Act titled Impounding Goats etc, & Notice Thereupon reads: All goats, kids and other animals found trespassing or grazing without permission on any land in Gibraltar, whether cultivated or not, or whether enclosed or unenclosed, may be seized by the owner or occupier of such lands, or any person authorised by him, and be sent or taken to the nearest pound to be detained and dealt with according to this Ordinance. Once a goat was impounded it was up to the Pound-keeper to locate the proper owner and issue a fine and collect any required damages. Notices would be posted in public places and if the owner did not come forward within seven days the captive creature would be sold at auction. However, it must have been difficult for owners to control their animals as an old story reveals that Gibraltar goats were very clever. In 1822 the Brighton Gleaner interviewed a soldier who had served in Gibraltar. The soldier told them that, “A great many goats scrabble about the Rock” and that, “At one point there is a goat road leading down to

48

the water’s edge”. This path was so narrow that there could be one-way passage only, any misstep or deviation to left or right would mean instant death. One day the solider and others were watching the path when they saw two goats meet head to head — one going up and one going down. They came to a dead stop and neither could turn or step aside without falling to death. The soldier observed: “At last, after deep cogitation and much deliberation, they hit upon a scheme which even man, with all his boasted wisdom could not have surpassed; that is that the one goat lay quietly cautiously down on all fours and allowed the other to march over his body to the great delight of the persons who witnessed this singular dilemma.” n

At last, after deep cogitation and much deliberation, they hit upon a scheme which even man, with all his boasted wisdom could not have surpassed

As part of the Spring Festival 2013, the Minister of Culture Hon. Steven Linares is launching a novel, Nepenthes, by Elena Scialtiel, at the Garrison Library on 2nd May. Named after a tropical carnivorous plant, this crime novel is set in a dark and stormy Hallowe’en week, and features young, savvy and feisty female Chief Inspector Kay Xiarras of Rocky Cape Police and her fourstrong multi-ethnic Homicides Squad. They are the protagonists of a series of books the author has published in Italy since 2010, one of which, Il Califfo di Qasbat-Al-Noor, was the winner of a nationwide literary contest. This is the fifth installment but it’s the first one to be actually written in English. Here, new characters are introduced, such as street-smart inspectors Nacho and Macarena, and shrewd coroner Nieves, to assist in a joint investigation into gory trafficking for a new breed of biological weaponry which takes Kay and her loyal friends across barren mountains to the historical town of Vega d’Entrepinares and back to Rocky Cape just in time for a ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ themed Hallowe’en party. It all begins when, with the excuse of a break from investigating a vampirish blood drive at Rocky Cape College, Kay accepts her old flame Gabbo’s invitation to a Goth bash in Bahía Sonrisa, which turns into a crime scene when 13 women are found dead in the toilets, their life literally sucked out of them. Off duty and out of her jurisdiction, Kay is thrown in at the deep end when Rocky Cape passports are retrieved on two victims. This action-packed dark thriller will transport you beyond borders, to an imaginary realm of picturesque cityscapes, populated by a cast of atypical and congenial characters, as assorted as exotic plants in a glasshouse. To reserve your copy, contact elena.scialtiel@gmail.com. GIBRALTAR MAGAZINE • MAY 2013

The Gibraltar Magazine - May 2013  
The Gibraltar Magazine - May 2013  

Gibraltar's fabulous business and leisure magazine. Crammed full of great features from finance to football, from fashion to arts. Enjoy i...