Is there a dangerous wild cat stalking the moors of Cornwall, Bodmin Moor in particular, preying on livestock–and the odd hiker?
Here in New Jersey we have the Jersey Devil, but over there they’ve got the Beast of Bodmin, said to be a large cat like a leopard: although maybe it’s something much more exotic than a leopard. Something prehistoric, even.
The authorities looked into it and in 1995 reported that there was no evidence that such a creature existed anywhere in Britain. Almost immediately a boy found a leopard skull in Cornwall, in a river. Examination confirmed that it was indeed a leopard skull–that had once been part of an imported leopard-skin rug.
But wait, there’s more!
Have they all forgotten the great medieval legend of Palug’s Cat ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cath_Palug )? Yeah, I’ll bet they have! According to old Welsh and French sources, this was a great big cat that lived on the Welsh island of Anglesey and ate knights for breakfast until King Arthur’s foster-brother, Sir Kay, came along and killed it.
Now, what ever made those people tell that story, eight hundred to a thousand years ago?
Meanwhile, please feel free to hike on Bodmin Moor at night, all alone. Just whistle a happy tune and tell yourself, “There ain’t no Beast of Bodmin, there ain’t no beast of Bodmin…”
And everything will be all right.