Getting mugged is infuriating, and often dangerous, but it’s more difficult to be angry about losing your wallet when the thief is a crow.
Wyl Menmuir, 41, tried to see the funny side when he had to climb a tree to get his wallet back – before accepting that he had probably lost £20, library cards and his National Trust ID forever.
The author and former Booker prize nominee had gone to a beach in Flushing, Cornwall, on Wednesday evening to do some snorkelling.
He said: ‘The crow started digging around when I first arrived but as I didn’t have any food in the bag I thought it would be safe, I thought there was nothing in there for it to nick but it decided my wallet was worth stealing.’
Almost as if the bird was waiting for a perfect opportunity, it made its move while Wyl was still in the sea.
The crow also made sure Wyl was suitably taunted, forcing him to watch the heist while being unable to do anything about it.
He said: ‘As I was getting out of the sea I saw the crow pull my trousers out of my bag which were rolled up.
‘It then went into the pocket and got my wallet out. I had my fins on, there was no way I could get to it.’
The crow launched to the top of a nearby tree, holding the wallet in its mouth.
Once it was away from the crime scene, the crow examined its stolen goods. Deciding that receipts, cards and money were actually useless, the crow ‘scattered them all over the place’.
To make matters worse, the tree was in a private back garden that overlooked the beach, so Wyl could not get to it.
Wyl had to explain the ‘bizarre’ situation to the owners and ask to climb the tree himself to try and retrieve his belongings.
He managed to salvage most of his cards, his money and the wallet itself.
The author, who was snorkelling as research for his new book, said: ‘I was hoping to be talking to people this week about my new book – but all they want to hear about is my crow mugging.
‘I always thought I would make the news because of my writing, but it turns out it was for being mugged by a crow.’
Wyl was nominated for the Booker prize in 2016 for his first novel The Many.
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