"The Sturdy house" is considered a landmark in Goderich Twp. today, and is one of the few really early homes still standing near the Huron highway.

Sturdy's Cow Of Ballyconnell

Old Brindle was Dick Sturdy's cow
Who gave her milk and chewed her cud.
But woe betide, she did not know
That fate had marked her where she stood.

The night was stormy, dark and gray,
Just right for rascals on the prowl
When in the stall crept Patrick Shea
With evil thoughts and ugly scowl.

He led old Brindle 'round the bight
Away from out her cozy stall,
But hearken! in the still of night-
Was there a sound like a bugle call?

The Sheriff's men in quick pursuit
Were looking for old Patrick Shea,
The guilty man shook in his boots
And wished that he was far away.

Now Patrick was an honest rogue
And never had been called a thief.
The Sheriff's men came down the road
And made Pat sad and caused him grief.

To save his soul and set things right,
With dawn quite near; the sky was gray
Pat shoved the cow into the bight,
Took to his heels and ran away.

But still the mystery would not down,
The neighbors talked both here and there,
The fact remained, no cow was found
Until an odor filled the air.

And so old Brindle in the bight
Was found at last, the search was through
Sturdy's cow was such a sight,
And round about the air was blue.

All this occurred in years long past.
So legend tells from then till now,
That if your tales stick not to facts
Your story "smells like Sturdy's cow.

"The poem is based on a true episode that took place about one hundred and fifty years ago and to this day, it is the practice to say, in Cavan County Ireland, it smells like "Sturdy's cow", when referring to a shady transaction or a doubtful story." Frederick L. Sturdy Detroit, Michigan - 1949


Note: The above poem and photo was sent to me from a distant cousin, Diana McCaig, who still lives near the Sturdy place in Ontario, Canada.


© Jerry England 1989 - 2003


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