Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rum and Cokes and Cattle Rustling, 1944

The Pratt Farm’s pure-bred Guernsey herd was the source of at least one humorous anecdote, though surely no one was laughing at the time the incident occurred during World War II. On August 22, 1944, a two-year-old pure-bred Guernsey heifer valued at $175 was stolen from Ernest S. Pratt’s East Main Street pasture and sold in the Brighton cattle market at Boston for $45.75 by two local youths. Pratt was called to testify, in order “to ascertain his attitude. Mr. Pratt said he had no desire to cause any hardship, but because of the conditions and the black market he thought the defendants should be dealt with severely enough to discourage such practices.” Judge Callan of the Fourth District Court in Middleborough agreed, telling the perpetrators that “they got together on stealing, they can get together on settling for it,” and ordered the pair to make restitution to Pratt who indicated that “the heifer meant more to him than the money” but acknowledged that “probably it had been disposed of.” One of the two defendants “briefly from the dock, blamed rum cokes for the affair.”

"Cuba Libre!" by Kenn Wilson, April 17, 2008, and republished under a Creative Commons license.


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