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Monday, December 5, 2011

Yowie, Kangaroo Valley Panther or imagination

I was a scout leader and was camping with a group of cubs at Kangaroo valley south of Sydney. We decided to play a few tricks on the group of kids and we had a big claw made from steel on a long handle. There was also a large footprint made as well also on a long handle. While the other leader was doing camp inspections and breakfast duties with the group I made my way down to the river and on the way scratched the bark on various trees along the track at the river footprints were made in the sand while keeping up on the river bank. The scratchings were about twelve to fourteen feet from the ground and the footprints were spaced about five feet apart. I secretly put the tools of deception away. Then came the fun part, TRACKING, the group was told to look for tracks of the local wild animals. This was to get a badge. Then one of the more astute boys noticed the scratching in the tree and asked what could it be was asked.  I reached up and they were about two feet out of my reach then came the punch line "it was the infamous kangaroo valley panther that no one had ever seen! Now the adrenalin was flowing. I lead them on down to the river and then stopped in my tracks and stood still they all followed suit. What are you looking at I was asked and the reply came quite!! The silence was deafening and there over there and I ran to the river bank followed by the group. Again one of the group saw the foot prints and pointed then out to the rest of them. The funny thing is from then on they never wanderered off on there own. Back to the foot prints I paced them out and the were about a foot longer in stride than I could make. This thing must have been huge about as big as a horse. The excitement grew with there imaginations getting the better of them enlarged the beast and the stories of men eating tigers and the like were spreading like a wild fire threw the group. That night we had finished tea and it was then stories around the camp fire. During one of those moments where all conversations seem to cease and silence is golden a cow in the field let out this almighty bellow MOOOOOO. Not expecting what was to follow this little guy jumps up from the other side of the ring of kids and ran as fast as his little legs could carry him and darts under my left arm and says you can look after me wont you sir!? Yes I says and the conversations went on into the night. Back a the scout hall a week later the leaders myself included were asked as to what went on at the camp as all the kids had night mares for the following week. We were forced to reveal our hand and the tools of deception and not one of those kids would admit that they were conned and all said they knew and were going along to keep the leaders happy.

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