It’s happened
again. A big cat sighting, reported in the local paper, and only about a mile
away. A local man, his mother and girlfriend spotted it sunning itself on the common. ‘There was no doubt what it was,’ said Ian
Giles of the black creature with a long sleek body, about 4ft from nose
to tail. It is a subject that continues to
fascinate and confound country people.

If Mr Giles wants to take it
further, he could contact one of the 113,000,000 websites dedicated to the
subject. Some promise that the event will be ‘investigated in a unique way’ and
that ‘confidentiality is assured’, as if these groups are tracking down errant

Whenever something like this is reported, the journalist lists all
the other sightings that have occurred in
recent years, and mentions our property by name, which always sends a
frisson through the household. I imagine the feline giant to be
lying up in the woods somewhere,
eyeing us warily by day, and creeping
out at night.

The fact that the younger members of the family were
keeping a beady eye out for witches with cats on their brooms cranked up the tension. But I have never seen it, and the
chickens and lambs have been remarkably
unmolested in recent years. Perhaps our mysterious friend is living off