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Have you ever been in your garden or out for a walk and thought you've seen something moving in the bushes?

Have you ever had the feeling you're being watched?

Well the chances are that you did and you are, because it's a little known fact that for thousands of years, living amongst us, have been the Pookas.

a picture of a pookas head

A pooka is a small imp-like, mischevious creatures, about 15 centimetres tall when fully grown. The oldest pooka I know of lived to 152 years, which is quite amazing, and I've been told that some are even older.

The Pookas came over to Britain with the invading Saxons around 450AD to get away from the land in which they were being hunted as lucky charms. Now you see, pookas, however wiley, are very lazy. So they travelled with the Saxon imigrants across land and sea in order to make full use of their oblivious companions' rubbish (the strangest things can come in rather useful, not to mention the fact that pookas like nothing better than new born weevils and maggots for their tea... mmm).

Unfortunately all the pookas that were left behind have long since died out, but the British climate is just right for them and they have thrived. Pookas live all over the British Isles. They can't swim because their legs are too short, and until quite recently (when the ferry came into use) there were no pookas on the Isle of Whight at all.

To begin with, travelling was fine, but when they reached a place that is now known as Ruddington, near Nottingham, they decided to settle. The mixture of climate and perfect solil for their dens was just what they were after, and to this day, the highest concentration of pookas is right there in Ruddington, living in back gardens, churchyards and the country park.

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