Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The other way about

A writer in the "Transvaal Leader" tells of a Boer who resolved to take a rise out of the Agricultural Department.
Having to send in a "blood-smear" of a dead ox, he subtly prepared a second with his own gore, and told his neighbours of the fool he was making of the "ingevoorde Engelschman" and his new fangled regulasies.
Some weks later, when the long envelope brought the official report, he called his neighbours to rejoice with him over the jest; and the schoolmaster was impressed to interpret the precious report, which ran somewhat as follows: "To Johannes Hendrik Petrus Boonzaier, Esq., Vlakvarkfontein.
"Sir, With reference to the blood smears furnished by you on the 15th ult., I have the honour to inform you that the one - that of an ox - shows no trace of disease.
The blood of the other slide appears to be that of a baboon in an advanced stage of senile decay. - I have, etc."

Eastern Province Herald - January 27, 1909

So the clever farmer tried to fool the authorities. His neighbours must have roared with laughter. This would have nmade a great contribution to "Was my face red".
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall.

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