By Landan Seamy
Imagine the thrill of lying in bed on a windswept December night listening to the hair raising howls from the moors as the wolves hunt their next victim. If local conservationist Pat “the wild man” Devlin and his 11 friends have their way this is what the future could hold for parts of Tyrone.
Pat and his team say plans to bring wolves back to Caledon and Benburb are “at an advanced stage”.
“People claim that we have not thought this through”
“but we have watched all the Jurassic Park films and know how things could go wrong so to be on the safe side we have chosen 2 areas with sparse populations and with absolutely no players on the Tyrone county squad. Both places are practically in Armagh anyway so I don’t see what all the fuss is about”.
Pat is convinced that there’ll be no disaster anyway.
“Whilst the cynics just see problems I just see benefits for the local economy. Just think of the euros and dollars pouring in. If some of that money crosses the border to Armagh then good luck to them. People have asked me if I’ll be introducing lions and tigers next. That’s just pure ignorance. Those animals never lived in Ireland. The gist of my plan is to return, to their natural habitats, the animals dispossessed by Cromwell”.
Pat has met with some opposition from local farmers and mothers with young children.
“I can understand their concerns” he sympathises “but they’ll just have to get on with it”.
“People say he’s crazy” added Sean who like some of the other 11 is actually one of Pat’s sons.
“But when has a madman ever influenced 11 others. As my father keeps reminding us 12 is a respectable number. Jesus had 12 disciples; Jacob had 12 sons; Christmas has 12 days and the 12th is one of the biggest days in the northern calendar”.
“And on that last fact” interrupted Pat,
“if our fellow county men don’t stop moaning I’ll take the idea to Paisley’s country. It’d actually save us all a lot of time for once we rescue the wolves from the zoo we’d practically be in Antrim already”.
When pressed to state when exactly the wolves are to be “returned” Pat smiled and tapped his nose before saying “plans are an at an advanced stage but if I gave you an exact date the big noises in the zoo in Belfast would probably try and stop us“.
Following the recent horse-meat debacle crippling Ireland’s taste buds, it has been revealed that local East Tyrone supermarkets and corner shops have withdrawn Brocagh badger-burgers from the shelves following rumours that there was possibly a taste of skunk off their produce in a few houses around Mountjoy. Despite being a staple diet in the Brocagh area since first accidentally consumed at the Washingbay Sports in 1955, the loughshore locals have intimated that they’re prepared to eat other exotic foods like spaghetti bolognese or cottage pie until they can be sure they’re eating 100% badger. One of the Mountjoy victims, Jessie Dorman, is of no doubt that the badger-burger he bought was a bit off:
“For fifty years I’ve had at least one badger-burger a day with a slap of spuds and banes. I know my badgers. It was my father who was the first man to taste the delicious badger meat after winning the wellie-throwing competition at the Washingbay Sports fifty-seven years ago. His last throw was so high it landed on a wild badger in the adjacent field, knocking its lights out. Afraid of the reaction to the murder, he ate the badger on the spot to hide the evidence only to discover its succulent quality. Within a couple of years his badger restaurant down by the Castlebay Centre was the envy of London and Paris. Stewed, grilled, baked, boiled or fried – people couldn’t get enough of it. This recent contamination is disastrous news. I’m not sure what a skunk tastes like but it definitely tasted a bit skunky.”
Despite there never having been a sighting of a wild skunk in Ireland, Dorman says there’s a good chance it escaped from Belfast Zoo and went up the M1, turning off at Tamnamore – perhaps explaining the bad smell up around Falls’ Bar. Local politician Susan McAvoy has urged locals not to panic or get tore into the drink but to try other foods like chicken or pork for a while until they have extinguished the last skunk from Brocagh or even find one.