• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

In praise of - the beast of Tunbridge Wells.

IN a sense, I write more out of pity than praise.

And the Beast under advisement is not the fabled Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells, who writes letters to the public prints. The Beast is – allegedly (feel free to sprinkle the rest of this piece with the a-word) – an ape-like creature along the lines of America's legendary Bigfoot. Eight foot tall, covered in fur, and with blazing red eyes, he's been sighted several times recently in the west Kent town.

However, in the latest incident, he also roared, which has been deemed unacceptable behaviour. A man walking in woods beside the town was minding his own business when the beast appeared and, without adequate cause or provocation, let rip. You may laugh. Top scientists certainly are. They say it's a hoax. But sightings of the Beast go back to 1942.

He was spotted on the common during the Second World War by an elderly couple sitting on a bench. That's good enough for me. The couple became aware of a shuffling noise behind them and, on turning round, saw the creature with its standard-issue burning red eyes.

True, if he's just roaring and sneaking up on decent ratepayers, he doesn't sound like someone you'd like your daughter to bring home. On the other paw, look at it from his point of view. He probably doesn't have any pals. Any time he approaches the rheumy-eyed humans, they flee. And he doesn't know how to speak. His roar is probably just an attempt at "Hi".

Here is a creature who's never eaten pizza. Never seen Strictly. Never headered a ball from a great cross.

You and I would be turning up in the market square and roaring on the hour. But he comes out only rarely and, each time, there's a hullabaloo. It's disgusting, really.

Contextual targeting label: 
Families

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

127493