In the early 1930s, a talking mongoose named Gef became quite the media celebrity. Gef lived in a farmhouse on the Isle of Man. Initially, Gef was only known as a "man-weasel" and when the farm owner James Irving and his family asked the animal to identify itself, it responded, “I am the ghost of a weasel, and I will haunt you with weird noises and clanking chains" or, later, (I am) "just a little extra, extra clever mongoose." In Fortean Times, Chirstopher Josiffe investigates this fascinating tale. From FT:
Whether he was supernatural or animal in nature, Gef’s behaviour was often surprising and capricious. Sometimes he appeared to enjoy his life with the Irvings, leaving dead rabbits for them and being rewarded with bananas, sausages and other treats. He took not just to talking but to music, singing along to the gramophone (his favourite record was Carolina Moon), performing the Manx national anthem or snatches of hymns and Spanish folk songs. Often, though, he appeared to delight in tormenting the Irving parents, once throwing stones at (Irving's wife) Margaret as she walked home and, on another occasion, losing his temper when Jim took too long opening the morning paper, crying out “Read it out, you fat-headed gnome!” in his high-pitched voice."Gef the Talking Mongoose"