WHISPERING SMITH: Adult ninja snapping turtle outed...

Snapping turtle
Snapping turtle

About 18 months or so ago a friend of mine bumped into a man in a hi-vis jacket staring gloomily into the murky green algae-covered waters of Mewsbrook’s lake.

A pair of swans glided silently past and my friend said, by way of conversation, ‘no cygnets this year then?’

‘No,’ the man replied, ‘a big snapping turtle likely ate them...’ and wandered back to his Southern Water van and drove off.

I had to smile at this yarn, a giant snapping turtle in the lake was about as likely as a midnight, moon-bathing ‘gator on its grassy summertime banks or bigfoot stomping through Lobs Wood on a starry autumn night. Often from then on when writing about Mewsbrook Park I have mentioned the baby-eating ninja turtle. Well, just maybe I could be wrong and such a creature could possibly exist therein.

A large female snapper recently surfaced, so to speak, when Worthing’s Brooklands Lake was drained for a maintenance inspection and the animal is currently being held at Littlehampton Exotics pet store for some tender loving care by the folk there until she is well, warm and strong enough to be transferred to a secure reserve somewhere in Sussex.

Maybe I all too quickly dismissed the turtle idea and, furthermore, if there is a snapper in our lake, then it is possible that the wallaby I spotted in Poling woods last year was not a figment of my imagination and also that there could well be a knucker dwelling in Lyminster’s knuckerhole.

And what about a real Worzel Gummidge, the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny? I am preparing myself for a future meal of humble crow pie and a bowl of mock turtle soup...


Who makes up the shortlist of Screen on The Green movies? I asked the question last year but did not get a reply. Looking at this year’s offerings not a single movie leapt to mind as a must see. If I were forced to choose I would go for The Greatest Showman, as long it was the sing-along version. The whole point of the evening is not the movie itself, as most have been done to death on television, but the inclusiveness of the evening, the audience participation, the picnic, the sing-along – remember Mamma Mia?

That is what it is all about really, and if it isn’t then it should be.


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