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The 'Beast' of Frimley

It was 7:30am on Tuesday morning, raining heavily, and I was hurrying along the path through the woods between Farnborough North station and Frimley, on my way to work. I was having to duck down every now and again to avoid snagging my umbrella in the overhanging branches that the rain had brought lower. Then, up ahead of me, through the rain and gloom I saw a low dark shape crossing the path and disappearing down the bank of the river Blackwater. My first thought was that it must be a deer, but the figure seemed too long and low, more like a big cat, a panther. I approached as quietly as I could, and peered down the bank, but there was nothing there. It must have waded across the river to the dense undergrowth on the other side, but again, I couldn't see anything over there. I stopped and looked around. An unnerving thought struck me: the animal, whatever it was, was probably sitting hidden in some bush watching me. I was completely alone, there was no sign of anyone else up or down the path. I came over all scared. What if it was a big cat?  I turned and hurried on my way. 

Looking back, I think the 'animal' was most probably two or more small deer running together in a way that made them look like a single, longer animal. I have seen single deer crossing the path near that point before, but I had assumed that they were going down to the river to drink. However, on Tuesday morning the heavy rain would have enabled the deer to drink without going down to the river. No, I suspect they were crossing the river to get to the small strip of woodland between the river and the Blackwater Valley Relief Road. This strip of land is overgrown and pretty inaccessible to humans, and would make a good place for deer to hide out.

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