THE "STRANGE ANIMAL" OF TONYREFAIL.
Robs Farmers' Yards and Terrorises People.
A correspondent writes:- What has now become widely known as the "Strange Animal" has for some time past haunted the thickets and farms in the vicinity of the village of Tonyrefail. Being neither a farmer nor a poacher, I have not yet seen our mysterious visitor, and this, added to the fact that the descriptions of it furnished me by several persons, who solemnly profess to having "caught just a glimpse of it," are conflicting, makes it, of course, an impossible task to convey to the reader anything like a correct sketch of it.
The only particular in which the majority of my informants concur is the animal's resemblence to a very agile monkey, and whatever it might be its presence in the neighbourhood is evidently a fact, and causes no little anxiety to many nervous, grown-up persons, while the mere mention of its name suffices to suddenly hush the ear-splitting vociferations of discontented youngsters.
Some persons inclined to be "waggish" and prompted by feelings of animosity towards the Theosophic creed have spread the rumour that it is a real, live, up-to-date Mahatma, but from the somewhat vague descriptions of the Perfect Being submitted to an altogether over-curious and scoffing world by reticent Theosophists I gather that a genuine Mahatma does not, as a rule, climb trees, make night hideous by nerve-shattering screams, terrorise innocent horses and cool-headed cows, devour raw chickens and murder guileless sheep, nor utilise the heads of over-inquisitive, conceited dogs for chewing-gum purposes. This is precisely what our strange animal does, or, rather, this is what it is accredited with doing by the innocents of Llantrisant parish. One reason why a better description of the animal has not been obtained is because it lurks during day time in some remote nook, enjoying unmolestedly the spoils of each nightly raid upon the poultry of aggravated farmers.
From the Western Mail, Saturday January 6th, 1894.