Many (many) years ago, I was in the forests near Yarram Vic. with a large
contingent of Army Officer Cadets on a 2 week Field Exercise. We of the
esteemed Directing Staff (!) had been told of the <Panther> seen thereabouts
over the years - a direct descendant of the Sale Air Force base mascots set
free after WW2. (Well, that's the story we were told!).
Anyway, we felt it our duty to tell the cadets that should they, while on a
compass march through the bush in the dead of night, come across a ferocious
man eater, it would best to avoid hand to hand combat.
A couple of the Asian cadets we had with us were filled with trepidation at
the thought of all this. After all, they had already been told by Aussie
cadets how Koalas would drop on you from a great height, and claw you to
A few days passed without incident and then, as luck would have it, a cadet
was bitten during the night by a snake - which we ID'd as almost certainly a
Tiger Snake. When the radio message was passed to HQ , the atmospherics and
hilly country played havoc with the radio signal which arrived as "Cadet
confirmed bitten by Tiger".
And so, at least for 48 hours, another legend arose, and the Yarrum Panthers
had serious competitors in the Big Cat world.
Oh, I almost forgot. The Malaysian cadet who took the radio message had to
be evacuated back to the Cadet School. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I
Wait 'til you read the one about the elephant.
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
'A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world'. John Le Carre
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