Furry little fellers with sharp teeth and long memories

"THEY'RE VICIOUS, they're cunning, they're randy and, interestingly, they have their own sophisticated honour system based on the Shing Fu Commandments of Samurai warriors," a Ministry of the Environment spokesman revealed yesterday when I rang for an update on events that have had families in the New Forest barricading themselves in. "But frankly the last thing we want is for people going around seeing the mink as Beelzebub in a small fur coat."

"But they've already mugged a fisherman."

"Yes, they learn very quickly. One of them wandered up to him, chatted casually about whether Le Tiss should come off the bench down at the Dell and then - bang! The other mink jumped out of the bushes, grabbed his fish and had it away on their toes. But, barring unfortunate circumstances, that sort of thing should be an isolated incident."

"What sort of unfortunate circumstances would those be?"

"Without wanting to alarm people, mink breed very quickly. Within 12 hours of their breakout, they had negotiated a highly favourable surrogate motherhood arrangement with weasels and stoats. A problem might occur when 6,000 mink become 60,000. At that point, they're likely to unite, and once mink unite we're into a whole different ball-game."

"Could you be more specific?"

"We've had reports that, using their highly developed sense of smell, mink have cornered the market in illegal Viagra. Ram-raiding, too. There has been a nasty incident near Fordingbridge when a motorist stopped for what he thought was a load of fur-coats that had fallen off a lorry. He was mugged, left badly nipped by the side of the road while the mink took his car on a Thelma and Louise-type spree, terrorising fishmongers along the south coast. Gangs can become regiments, regiments become armies. There are no known records of mink actually invading small countries, but we can't rule it out at this point."

"But people shouldn't be alarmed."

"Absolutely not. Just take basic, commonsense precautions. Avoid going out after dark if you live in the New Forest area. If you know any of the goofy sentimentalists who released the animals in the first place, for heaven's sake report them to the police - for complex psychological reasons, the mink are angry with them and may actually have taken a contract out on them. Oh, and, ladies, for goodness sake, don't go out in a mink coat. These animals astonishingly highly-sexed. They will ignore the proprieties when they spot what they regard as a potential mate."

"Do ministry experts have any idea why the natural world seems to have become so hostile?"

"We believe that it's not the animals that are the problem, but us. Such has been the obsession with drippy sentimental pet hospital programmes on TV that the essential divide between mankind and wildlife has been eroded. Idiots are prepared to wipe out the water vole and rare bird species so that a few deceptively cute mink can enjoy their freedom. Or to take another example, townspeople treat foxes like pets."

"What's wrong with that?'"

"Nothing - if you don't mind seeing kittens being swallowed whole! Thanks to dewy-eyed suburbanites, foxes have become addicted to the taste of young cat flesh."

"Come to think of it, there was story about that in this week's New Statesman. Their domestic columnist Sean French returned from holiday to find the family's favourite fox plump and happy, curled up asleep on the lawn. Unfortunately their two seven-month old cats had gone missing."

"Exactly. He thought it was a coincidence, poor sap."

"So what other animals are in danger of turning in this way?"

"We're very, very worried about snakes. As you know, the blonde bombshell Anthea Turner recently relaunched her career by lolling about, scantily concealed by a boa constrictor. Already reptile specialists across the country have reported a run on the larger snakes by women disappointed by the new generation of men who want to sit in the kitchen discussing the parameters of vulnerability over camomile tea."

"So they go for a bit of heavy petting with a snake."

"It's no laughing matter. A snake-lover in Hayes was so pleased with new arrangement that she gave the Viagra she had bought for her boyfriend to the boa constrictor."

"No prizes for guessing where she scored for the Viagra."

"Too right. They think of everything, these mink."

Miles Kington is on holiday

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Arts and Entertainment
Kate Bush: 'I'm going to miss everyone so much'
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

Arts and Entertainment
Lynda Bellingham stars in her last Oxo advert with on-screen husband Michael Redfern

Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’


Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'


Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from


Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?