Three new creatures have joined the ranks of mythical mid-Hampshire animals – the ones you never see, but which are out there somewhere. They are our own yetis, the krakens of the western South Downs.
The first is in our attic. It has displaced the mice and can remove bait from mousetraps and rat traps without tripping them.
It skips noisily around above the bedroom ceilings and occasionally seems to sit down so loudly that it shakes the whole house.
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It also appears to like nesting in the insulation. It is therefore a cross between a hummingbird, a coypu, a squirrel and Michael Flatley.
I find myself slightly scared to go up and check the traps, in case I come face to face with it. Should I take a net, a gun, a bag of Brazil nuts or a recording of Toss The Feathers?
Dog Poo Bag Fairy
The second mysterious beast is related to the “Dog Poo Bag Fairy” and is the “Dog Poo Bag/Plastic Fork/Empty Energy Drink Bottle/Used Wet Wipe Fairy”.
Some experts reckon that it might actually be the original ‘”Poo Bag Fairy” who has evolved; after all, she has had to change her working habits recently.
Dog walkers have for some years faithfully collected up their dogs’ droppings in little plastic bags, and then hung them on the nearest visible spot. It could be on a nearby gate, or fencepost, or even on the doors to one of our barns.
But now dog walkers seem quite content to gather the poo, put it into a bag, and drop it in the middle of the path. So the Poo Bag Fairy is now working her way up and down the paths, gathering the bags directly off the ground.
If, while she’s there, she clears the lovely mid-Hampshire countryside of assorted other detritus (plastic forks, empty energy drink bottles and wet wipes), then maybe the experts are right.
The most recent arrival in this enigmatic part of southern England is something called the Bollard Monster – and its habits are so odd, so meaningless and futile, that you’d be forgiven for thinking that proposing its existence is the height of madness. However, as The Monkees said: “I’m a believer.”
What the Bollard Monster does is roam up and down the A272 installing roadside bollards, seemingly at random.
A whole bunch appeared just west of us – a nice row of shiny posts with reflectors on, perfectly sited to achieve the square root of bugger all, and blocking a neighbour’s field entrance. No one seemed to know who put them up, or why. And then a couple of days later they were gone.
By now the good people of SO24 were getting scared, barricading their doors and windows at night for fear of meeting a grisly black-and-white-post-related fate.
It was like a spliffed-up remake of The Hound of the Baskervilles. And then, suddenly, the posts were back, a few yards away from the original site, and even more scarily, have stayed. Fearful travellers cross themselves and look the other way as they pass, drawing their cloaks tighter.
Some say it’s all the work of Hampshire County Council – but that’s even more absurd. After all, night after night we hear on the local BBC news how impoverished the council is.
They’re down to their last 50 diversity officers and 30 climate change advisers. Nope, it’s the Bollard Monster alright.
I’m hoping there might be a fourth creature: a wise old thing, perhaps perched guru-like on a rock somewhere, who can explain the principle of the dog poo bag. But I think that’s a forlorn hope. That mystery will have to remain.