A BOOKER prize nominated author found himself out of pocket after a crow stole his wallet from his trousers and flew up with it into a tree while he looked on in disbelief.

Wyl Menmuir, who was nominated for the literary prize in 2016 for his first novel The Many and has just published his latest book Fox Fires, was snorkelling off Flushing Beach opposite Falmouth Docks when the crow struck.

The 41-year-old from Porthtowan, who has family in Mylor, was carrying out research for a new non-fiction book he is writing about the ways different people are drawn to the sea and was with his friend Matt Slater, marine awareness officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust, yesterday morning when the 'bizarre' incident happened.

The crow took the wallet up into a tree where Wyl had to retrieve it

The crow took the wallet up into a tree where Wyl had to retrieve it

As he was about to go into the water with Will, who was scuba diving, he noticed the crow pecking around his bag with all his clothes in.

"He asked if I had any sandwiches in the bag and I said 'no' so he said: 'Oh, you've got nothing to worry about'.

"So I went snorkelling and came back an hour later. As I was getting out of the sea I saw the crow pull my trousers out of my bag which were rolled up. It pulled the trousers out and 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 just looked at me with my wallet in its mouth and took it up to the top of the tree where it proceeded to drop it on like a ledge. It opened my wallet, all the while it seemed to be watching me, took all of the receipts the cards and everything out and just scattered them all over the place.

"Several people who saw this on the quay, I think one of the gig boats were out, said: 'Did we just see that?' It was a bit bizarre."

Booker award winning author Wyl Menmuir. Picture credit Dave Muir

Booker Prize nominated author Wyl Menmuir. Picture credit Dave Muir

As the top of the tree was around 25 feet above the beach Wyl was forced to go up to the house whose back garden it was in and ask if he could try and retrieve his belongings that way. He then had to climb the tree which overlooks the beach after scrambling through a bramble patch and climb onto a fence to get to the top .

"I got there and all of my cards and my wallet were strewn everywhere. My library card, my National Trust card and a £20 note were beyond rescuing. It dropped them out of the tree and there was no way I could get down to them. I managed to get a picture of my wallet in situ though.

"As I was coming down the lady who had let me into her garden said 'oh that's so and so's crow', I said 'What do you mean?' and she said 'It's a crow that follows her round the village'.

"I've had stuff nicked from me by seagulls before but not a crow! It was almost as if it was waiting for me to get out of the sea to grab my wallet."

Wyl's book The Many is about a man who buys a cottage in a small fishing village and renovates it. He gets to know the fishermen and goes out on the boats but things take a dark turn.

His latest book Fox Fires is the story of a lost girl and a sprawling map of an unsettling city.

Find out more about Wyl and his novels at wylmenmuir.co.uk/

If anybody knows anything about the crow let us know!