An Unwanted Visitation

John Sinclair

What ever their plural, a most unpleasant and difficult creature is the mongoose

n. (pl. mongooses) any of a various small flesh-eating civet-like mammals of the family Viverridae, esp. of the genus Herpestes. [Marathi mangüs]

The mongoose is somewhat bigger than a large cat. It has a sharp nose like a bandicoot but with a mean cast to it's features and black beady eyes. It has relatively large paws with prominent claws. It has a grizzled bristly coat and carries its head and largish tail in line with its body. It can move at lightning speed but in general movement is very noisy as it bustles and scurries about. It is fearless and can not scared off by hurled boots, swearing or other loud noises

During certain times of the year they are very active at night, particularly the young males, searching for those things that all young males seek late at night. Unfortunately, our local citizen had a penchant for visiting the tent lines and racing around the sandbag half walls waking all and sundry.

But this was not the worst of it. Like all mongooses he was equipped with a large anal sac containing glandular openings which he used to communicate his sex and identity by scent marking. Whatever it was he was doing, it resulted in the most dreadful smell, pungent and lingering.

My tent was located at the top of the compound and slightly separated. It was here that the attacks first commenced. There is little doubt that this was nature's doing but there were some who thought that it was logical that the OC's tent should have attracted such a beastie and that it probably represented a form of retribution. Indeed some suggested that maybe it was a mongoose who had been trained and released for just this purpose.

Whatever, a solution was hard to find. It was tempting to use a pistol, and indeed, after a couple of nightly visits, I was contemplating claymore mines set on likely approach paths. Since none of these things were acceptable, and there was no way of denying access, the only solution seemed to be trapping. There was general hilarity at my predicament. A wish to sustain it was no doubt behind continuing delays in producing a trap.

However, after some days and much to my relief, the mongoose got sick of me or my tent and moved onto the Sergeant's and Men's Lines.

Its quite odd that a trap was produced the very next day. The following morning it was filled with the mongoose who was disposed of far away in the Province