THYLACINE - The Case in Defence

Chapter 10

GRACE’S STORY

One of the first things people said about Grace was how she liked to ‘call a spade a spade’. So, when anyone started telling ‘Tiger stories’, Grace would humph and shrug. She’d lived on the land all her life and had never seen a single Thylacine… nor anything that faintly resembled one.

For sure, finding a sheep mauled and killed in the paddock wasn’t unusual. In fact, one time Allan found twenty or more dead. He put this down to a wild pack of dogs he’d seen lurking nearby. That’s what the other graziers in the district said, too.

Grace and Allan were not ones to even think about Tigers!

When Allan died, Grace decided to stay on the farm. She and Allan had spent their entire married life raising their family and running their grazing property in the fertile Longford area. So, when the time came for Grace to make her decision, she chose her elegant home with its rolling views of the Great Western Tiers. She wasn’t ready for a move into town just yet!

Grace also kept her holiday home at Bridport. As long as she could spend time at the seaside with her dog and a friend, she was content. With friend in the passenger seat and dog in the back, Grace always chose the shortest route between two points - home and the beach; and, being the practical lady she was, Grace never varied.

And, for the many times she took the rough dirt shortcut through dry bush and marginal farmland to the Bridport road, Grace never gave a single thought about seeing a Tiger…

UNTIL...

Grace’s Words

"My friend and I were driving along the Ferny Hill Road from Golconda the summer before last (1988). We were about three kilometres along the road. It was shocking - bumpy and bad, but not dusty."

"It was dusk and I came up a hill, turned to the right then down a short hill. I was only going about 20 kilometres per hour, the road was so bad."

"Suddenly I saw this animal eating offal at the side of the road. It didn’t rush away."

"It was on the left side of the road and sort of sauntered to the right side. I was within metres of it. It was sort of like a half grown puppy-like dog. Not as large as a kelpie. Its nose was long, I noticed, and the colour was... well, like my dog there." (Her dog was a light brown.)

"I noticed it didn’t move quickly. Sort of strange. You’d think it would rush away."

"It had some stripes across the back and they went halfway down its side. Its ears were sticking up and it - I remember now - had a long pointed face. I saw him for at least five or more seconds."

"I wish my friend had seen it, too. I don’t tell many people about what I saw. I feel sort of silly about it, you know."

Grace was not lying!

READ ON FOR BETTY AND SID’S TALE

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