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The night before last about midnight after we’d been in bed for a while I heard banging noises coming from somewhere outside. Bob was asleep already and I’d been reading a rather gruesome crime novel. I was just at a part where the lights had suddenly gone out while a woman was investigating an old cellar in which there had once been a terrible murder! Already nervous from the suspense in the book, the noises outside had really made me jump and I lay there, holding my breath, listening intently, as you do when you’re wondering if someone is trying to break in. The noises came and then stopped then I’d hear another clunk, then they stopped altogether. Living in the sticks with no one in shouting distance (I didn’t think I should wake Bob – yet) sometimes is not good if you’re reading a creepy book and you have an over-active imagination. I lay there for ages waiting for further noises but all was quiet, so I read a bit more (the woman escaped the cellar thankfully) and put the light off.

In the morning I decided to check outside to see if anything was out of place and all seemed OK until I lifted the lid of the green wheelie bin that we use as a bottle bank. A few days ago I threw out a small chicken carcass and leg and wing bones, sealed tightly in a small plastic bag. I’d popped it on top of the bottles and meant to take it down to the bin by the garage later. The bag had been ripped open, the carcass was missing, and one leg bone with its end bitten off remained alongside a piece of lemon which had been cooked inside the chicken. There wasn’t a shred of evidence on the ground around the bin or around the house, so whatever had taken it had eaten it elsewhere. It had obviously made a number of trips because the second leg bone and the wing bones were missing – which would account for the number of bangs I heard when the bin lid flopped back. So what animal did it? The bin is quite a tall one and the lid simply lifts up and flops back down again. Cats are pretty clever but how could a cat reach up that high, and then push the lid up as well before climbing in? A dog? Well dogs could jump up and nose the lid up, but they’d be sure to grab the whole bag and haul it out before tearing it up. A fox? Well they are clever and we know they pass by here because we’ve seen them. It’s a mystery, and it’s intrigued us so much we’ve ordered a wildlife camera which can be set up for night-time ‘visitors’. Hopefully we can eventually spot the culprit.

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