Gef, The Talking Mongoose

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Mauro says:

    Re: Gef, The Talking Mongoose
    There seems to be quite a comeback in interest on this case lately, so I’ll add a few things.
    First thing: sometimes Gef left rabbits for the family in the kitchen. R.S. Lambert, an associate of Harry Price’s, saw these rabbits and said they were killed by wriggling their necks, the same way as it’s traditionally done in farms around the world. There were no signs of bites.
    Second thing: James Irving obtained some foot casts by asking Gef to walk over some plasticine blocks during the night. Irving dispatched these blocks to Harry price, who turned them over to the Zoological Department of the British Museum for identification. One print belonged to a dog and the others, curiously, were identified as belonging to "an American raccoon". Mongoose tracks their surely weren’t.
    Third thing: before settling at Cashen’s Gap, James Irving had travelled all over the world. He was fluent in German and Russian and also knew quite a bit of Hindi. Gef claimed he was born "on June 7, 1852" in India and to have lived "with a tall man who wore a green turban on his head". When he was asked to elaborate on these two points, Gef usually laughed and sang Hindu folk songs.
    Fourth thing: when Harry Price asked a local associate, a Captain Macdonald, to investigate the case, Gef seemed to be in top shape. He talked (calling Macdonald "a doubter" and instructing the Irving’s to "get him out of here") and threw small objects to the Captain.  But when Harry Price went to Cashen’s Gap himself, the talkative mongoose remained quiet.
    Fifth: Gef demanded to be fed. He usually asked for pastries and bananas, highly unusual food for a mongoose, talking or not.
    Sixth: a mongoose was shot at Cashen’s Gap in 1947. This proves either the animals released in 1914 managed to survive and breed or that other mongooses were introduced at a later date.