I got the following story of intrigue, mystery and solution from Clifton Power and it concerns the disappearance of shoes from his house off the Scartaglin road just outside Castleisland.
Because it had been going on for some time, Clifton was, by force of curiosity alone, prompted to set up a motion sensing, night vision camera to try and catch the culprit in the act.
Clifton Takes up the Story
“I sometimes leave my muddy work shoes to dry out under a shelter to the side of the house.
I stopped doing this recently when every morning after I had left them there they went missing and I found them lying on the lawn or around the back of the house,” said Clifton.
One morning last week I came downstairs to find food wrappings from the bin scattered across the kitchen.
Some Marauding Animal
I found that the back door had been left open all night so it was perhaps not surprising that some marauding animal had been in.
But going to close the back door I found one of my shoes there and another further away on the lawn.
I had left them just inside the front door, so the mysterious intruder had gone right through the house during the night.
Young Lady from Taiwan
We had a house guest at the time, a lovely young lady from Taiwan doing a tour of Europe.
Later that day she told us that she could not find her walking shoes, although she was certain that she had left them to dry out near the stove in the living room.
We searched the house and garden but could not find them. We just could not work out what species of animal could be doing this.
The thief had taken four shoes that night, and two of them were completely gone.
Fairies Got a Mention
Our speculations on the thief’s identity got wilder; would a badger, a mink, an otter, do this? It all seemed so unlikely, that inevitably the fairies got a mention.
I postulated that, if the fairies did not want our guest to leave Ireland, a sentiment that I could relate with, stealing her shoes would be the sort of thing that they would do!
But she had to go home, and fortunately she did not have to walk out of Kerry but could fly from Farranfore, and I promised her that I would do my best to solve the mystery.
Surveilance Called For
That night as a test I left a pair of my shoes under the shelter outside. In the morning one was gone and could not be found anywhere. The next night the other shoe was taken and could not be found. Well, that meant that the thief was still active but there was still no clue to its identity.
So, I then borrowed a motion-sensitive night-vision camera and set it up with another pair of old shoes as bait.
Caught in the Act
I tied a reel of cotton thread to one of the shoes with the idea that I could follow the thread to its lair and its pile of shoes.
The camera caught the shoe thief in the act, and what a beautiful thief it is!
The thread however got snagged in the hedge around the back of the house and the shoe was not taken further.
Needless to say, we all mind our shoes around here now,” Clifton concluded.
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