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NEWS & FORTEANA

Big black beast stalks Cornish wood

By editorial assistant Sandi Toxic

Posted August 10, 2015
Mystery beast stalks St Austell wood, local councillor warns.
Ere! Gerrof my pasty! An artist's impression of the mystery creature. (Check bottom for credits)

Phantom animal seen near St Austell, local councillor warns.


Is it possible that the Beast of Bodmin, Cornwall's most celebrated Alien Big Cat (ABC), has spawned a monster like November did in that Morrissey song?

Who knows?

But according to a report dated 29/7/15 in the St Austell Voice, volunteers seeking to tame the "jungle" that has sprouted up around St Austell's historic holy well in Menacuddle Woods have been warned to be on the look out for a "large black animal" that inhabits the area.


NOT A DOG
During a town council meeting this past July 20, Sandra Heyward, independent councillor for the Gover ward, reportedly stated:

     [Menacuddle Well] is a very special place. It's an important site and I
     welcome the [jungle-taming] work. But be careful clearing the trees as
     there is a large black animal. I have got to be careful what I say, living
     up there. It is not a dog, it's not a cat. I have seen it.

Sadly, the report fails to elaborate further, focussing instead on the more mundane minutiae of the one-off clearance project.

Neither could the Rake & Herald find any mention of Heyward's comments in the official council minutes, available to freely download as a PDF here.


let's get shitfaced t-shirt
Click the pic: to see the full range of Menacuddle Monster tees and clag on offer. © Ignatius Rake


IS IT A HEDGEHOG?
"Unfortunately, the description we have of the beast is somewhat nebulous," says Rake & Herald chief hack Ignatius Rake, trying to sound all clever.

"A large black animal that isn't a cat or a dog could be a lot of things, from a gorilla to a rhino or maybe even a giant hedgehog, like Spiny Norman out of Monty Python that used to chase Dinsdale Piranha around."

"What's more, while Heyward was quite clear the beast wasn't a dog – which automatically rules out Old Shuck – it remains moot as to what exactly she meant by 'cat'."

"Was she referring to a cute little pussy that's nice to stroke or a big hairy growler that'll have your hand off?"

"Until more is known on the matter it would be unwise to rule out an ABC of some kind as these are by far the most commonly reported cryptids across the UK and have been ever since the Surrey Puma hit the headlines in 1959."

"In 2006, for instance, the British Big Cats Society (BBCS) announced that some 2,123 big cat sightings had been reported between April 2004 and July 2005 alone."

"Of these, nearly 60% were 'black cats'."

"Moreover, the BBCS described the South West as 'a hot-spot for sightings', with Cornwall and the Arctic wastes of Devon and Somerset all ranking in the Top Ten ABC locations."


or is the menacuddle monster just a massive otter
Massive otter: This one's over two metres tall! © Ignatius Rake


MASSIVE OTTER
"But if Heyward was ruling out all types of felid then we're going to have to look elsewhere for an answer," he continues like I'm listening.

"In Ireland, there have long been reports of the Dobhar-chú, a half-dog half-fish thing that some posit could be a massive otter or maybe even some kind of crocodile."

"So who knows?"

"Maybe one hitched a ride over with St Piran when he surfed across from Ireland on a millstone back in a the sixth century."

"His first mates in Cornwall were reputedly a badger, a fox and a bear, so he obviously had a bit of a rapport with the Animal Kingdom."

"So is a massive otter too much to ask?"

"What I do know for sure, though, is that as journalists it's our duty to get to the bottom of this."

"Or, failing that, come up with a cheesy nickname for the beast that while mildly amusing at first soon becomes tired and annoying."

"How about Mickey the Menacuddle Monster?"

"Or has Disney already trademarked that?"


or is the menacuddle monster just a massive otter
Power animals: Bow to the Mandrill! © Ignatius Rake


THE MANDRILL, ACCEPT IT
"I'm not saying it is a chupacabra but I'm certainly not saying it isn't," says Rake & Herald eternal editor AC89 while not saying that it is a chupacabra but at the same time not saying that it isn't.

"I'm currently running the show from the Spirit World, so I'm well aware that the Multiverse abounds with an infinite permutation of possibilities."

"So, while it could be a physical nuts-and-bolts monster, it could also be a daemon, a tulpa or just some cheeky little scamp that slipped in from a different dimension."

"And why not?"

"Not only is this the mystical land of Cornwall we're talking about here but Menacuddle Well itself has been revered as a place of hope and healing for centuries so, if you remember the Old Religion, it's quite likely a portal, a liminal zone between what you lot call reality and what we in the realm of pure spirit actually know to be reality."

"Think Skinwalker Ranch in the States, for example."

"For me, though, the answer is simple: Marlon the Menacuddle Monster's a metaphysical mandrill."

"Either that or a massive otter."


is the menacuddle monster a zebra
Safe bet: Perhaps it's a zebra. © Ignatius Rake


WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
At press time, Rake & Herald fashion editor, loudmouth London cabbie, self-appointed competitive eating pundit and my reincarnated former fiancé Kok 'Bloody' Wang was laying odds of 200-1 that Marvin the Menacuddle Monster's a stranded extraterrestrial; 55-3 a zebra; and 7-2 a 'cat-dog'.

"Well, stands to reason, dunnit?" Wang says, munching on a badly packed kebab.

"If it ain't a dog and it ain't a cat, it must be a fackin' cat-dog."

"Or a shark what swum up river."

"Think about it, you melt."

"What else could it be?"

"A fackin' giraffe?"

"You dry lunch."


St Austell is the UK furring capital. fact
Masked balls and bell ends: St Austell is furring central. © Ignatius Rake


OCCAM'S BLAZER
Official Rake & Herald St Austell editor Turd Lemsip, meanwhile, offers a more prosaic answer to the riddle of the beast.

Meatus the Menacuddle Monster, he reckons, was probably just "some men dressed as cats or something climaxing in a shit-stained shuddering finale".

And Turd has good reason to believe this.

After all, as previously reported by Rake & Herald staff writer Stafford Wrighter here, the woods around St Austell are a hotbed of 'furring', a quaint outdoor pursuit whereby well-rounded individuals don animal suits and then knob each other senseless.

With their cocks.

Moreover, the stats appear to support Turd's assertion that what Heyward saw was simply "some dubious perverts dressed as classic Warner Brothers cartoon characters fellating each other".


REMOVED ON LEGAL ADVICE
Unfortunately, we can't run the rest of what Turd has to say for legal reasons.

However, Rake & Herald marketing manager Randy Gutstick III is quick to "add colour" to Turd's words "going forward".

"Ever since we actioned the webularisation of that furring story eight quarters prior, we've leveraged a constant stream of hits from pervs across the UK and elsewhere googlerising the search term 'furring St Austell' and other related requests far too sick to mention," he explains.

"Seriously, I kid you not."

"It's done wonders for our web traffic!"

"So keep it up, you dirty pervs."

"You're really bringing vertical to our product basket!"

And as for Marty the Menacuddle Monster?

"Who cares?"

"Let's bulk out our value proposition and dollarise that shit this minute!"

And if you don't think we would, click this for the T-shirt now.


Hat tip: Wolfgang Bang.


Have you seen Marty the Menacuddle Monster? Perhaps you glimpsed him while out walking the dog or rimming some bird dressed as Tweetie Pie? If so, send us the snaps and if we can see it going in we'll flog 'em on the Dark Web. In the meantime, here's a short vid of Menacuddle Well, embedded here on the fortean-tastic Rake & Herald from HolywellsOfCornwall's YouTube channel, which you can check out here.




See also It's all kicking off in St Austell, posted 12/8/13, among many others.


Sandi Toxic
was raised by wolves inside a disused clay pit near Lanjeth. You can befriend her on FaceBook here. She is still quite feral.


Otherwise unstated picture credits

Top and thumb: Illustration by Ignatius Rake using own and public domain pictures as well as original images by Michael Palmer; I, Gunnandreassen; josh from shanghai, china; and Michael Murray.

For licensing information click the above links.



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