I know we said in our last article that we’d feature an interview with one of the locals for this post, but unfortunately our selected interviewee was unavailable. He was apparently called away to an important meeting. However, I have obtained some information that you should be aware of before visiting Numoeath, and this seems as good a time as any to share it.
Because of ingrained superstition about the “curse”, the government produce protocols for citizens to follow should they encounter any “beasts” or, Settlers forbid (a local phrase), actually be injured by one. I found two leaflets giving advice to civilians posted on the town notice board for anyone to read. Here are the contents.
Procedure for civilians in the event of a suspected beast incursion (v4. Hastings, J.)
1. Do not panic
2. If there has been an attack on one or more civilians, notify the postmaster in Ascar and undertake the actions in “Procedure in the event of a beast injury”
3. If there has been an attack on domestic fowl, notify the postmaster in Ascar
4. If there has been a suspected beast sighting but no attack, ascertain the nature of the animal(s), using appropriate precautions
5. If the animal is judged to be a harmless animal (i.e. not a beast) based on assessment of appearance, size and/or behaviour, no further action is needed
6. If the animal is judged to be possibly a beast based on assessment of appearance, size and/or behaviour, notify the postmaster in Ascar
7. Alternatively, if it is judged possible to eliminate the beast without risk to civilians, it is acceptable to attempt this before any notification to the postmaster in Ascar is made
Procedure in the event of a beast injury or suspected curse (v3. Hastings, J.)
1. Do not panic
2. Following injury by a beast, notify the postmaster in Ascar and monitor the individual for 3 days for any signs of being cursed
3. Signs of the curse are variable and include (but are not limited to): fever, fitting, confusion, disordered speech, nightmares. Manifestations of unnatural curse-induced powers are by their nature unpredictable, but by all standards would be extraordinary, and impossible for non-cursed individuals.
4. If a curse is suspected, notify the postmaster in Ascar WITHOUT DELAY.
5. A cursed individual is a danger to others, through no fault of his or her own.
6. A cursed individual may require sedation or restraint, in order to ensure the safety of all
7. In extreme situations, it may be necessary to neutralise the cursed individual, in order to ensure the safety of all. In this situation, no blame attaches to either the cursed individual, or to the individual performing the necessary neutralisation.
I guess whoever Hastings is, s/he isn’t a believer in the Plain English Campaign.
It does seem they realise that not all animals are dangerous, but because they’re terrified of being “cursed” they view any wild animal with suspicion. You can see just how seriously they take the matter with the rather sinister points 6. and 7. in the second document.
Needless to say, the wise tourist will not admit to being injured by any kind of wild animals on his or her strolls outside of town. I’d recommend packing a decent first aid kit, and having an evacuation plan in case of significant injury. Getting “neutralised” by the locals would certainly put a damper on your holiday! Don’t forget to take out sufficient travel insurance too, maybe through one of our partner organisations…