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Monday, October 31, 2005
My Favorite Monsters #1: Gef, The Talking Mongoose
In 1931, on the Isle of Man, the Irving family received a strange visitor. Strange animal noises began coming from the attic, but no animal was found. Soon, the noises started to resemble words and phrases spoken by the family, in much the same way that parrots imitate human speech. In a short period of time, the source of the noises introduced himself to the family. He was a mongoose, and his name was Gef.
Gef turned out to be a very talkative houseguest for the Irving family, though very elusive. He declined to be seen, but he did once let Mrs. Irving stroke his fur. He also had a penchant for sneaking into the homes of the neighbors and reporting all the juicy bits of gossip to them. He was also not overly fond of strangers, making a habit of telling guests to the house to "go to hell." Apparently his high, squeaky singing voice made up for his insolent behavior, and the Irvings enjoyed his renditions of popular tunes.
Gef became a minor celebrity, much to the consternation of the locals, who didn't care for him one bit. He was also the subject of investigation by many of the leading psychic researchers of the day. Sadly, when the Irving family moved in 1937, Gef vanished as mysteriously as he arrived. In 1947 a strange creature was shot by another local farmer, but it was never conclusively proven whether or not it was Gef.
I love Gef. Gef is my favorite monster of all time. Oh sure, to a person of skeptical mind it sounds like a harmless prank thought up by a child, perhaps the daughter of the Irving family, that spiraled out of hand, with the family perhaps enjoying making fools of people with a little innocent trickery. But, c'mon...it's a talking mongoose! How is that not the coolest thing in the world? It has to be true, it simply has to be! I don't want to live in a world where there's no such thing as a talking mongoose!