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Questions, February 1998

Question 1: In late August 1996, I was driving my car listening to the radio when I heard on the news that a boat carrying live sheep cargo from Australia to the middle east had caught fire in the Indian Ocean, and that the crew had abandoned ship, leaving the sheep to their fate (the sheep were transported live so that they could be slaughtered and eaten fresh - not frozen - in accordance with strict religious dietary laws). The last news I heard on this was that it was going to take two days for a rescue ship to reach the burning, drifting ship. The image of burning ship and sheep has stayed with me ever since, but I never heard any more about it. I asked friends (and still ask) and no-one seems to have heard that same radio broadcast. If anyone knows what happened to the sheep, the ship or the crew, or has any information on this, could you email me with it at

Question 2: About a year ago I was driving my car (again) and listening to the radio, and I heard that some particularly intelligent sheep had figured out how to cross a cattle grid (the grids in the road that people have at the end of driveways to stop cattle/sheep etc entering or exiting land). Apparently one sheep lay on the cattle grid forming a bridge for the others to cross over so they could reach greener pastures (the grass IS greener on the other side). Last night I mentioned this over dinner to a friend, and was told (hearsay) that apparently within weeks of this news report, it was happening the length and breadth of the country and that sheep, like ourselves, evolve, so why should I find this so surprising? I am now curious to know whether this is also happening/has happened in Australia, and if so when it started. If you have any information, could you email me at

Question 3: Does anyone know of any English women that were shipped out as brides for farmers? Did this ever happen? Or did this happen to any of the women that arrived in Australia as 10 pound poms? Please email any stories or information to