I wish I had David Attenborough's phone number. You see, something rather beastly has been happening in my back garden and I'd really appreciate his advice.

It was early on Friday morning when The Mother woke me and announced that all was not well outside the back door.

A scene of absolute carnage met my eyes when I looked. There were bones and bits of flesh and innards scattered all over the ground. It was truly disgusting.

"I told you not to put that turkey carcass outside but you never listen to my advice," said The Mother. "You could at least have wrapped it up properly before throwing it in the bin. Now look at the mess."

It was indeed a mess, for whatever had been scavenging in the garden had done a thorough job.

Plastic bin bags had been shredded and the contents, ranging from tattered Christmas wrapping paper and potato peelings to bones and giblets, were strewn all over the pathway.

"Must have been a cat," said The Mother as we collected all the debris. "You'd better get some of those extra-strength refuse sacks with drawstring tops."

"Yes, ma'am," I said and, to make sure the kitty would go away empty-handed (well, you know what I mean), we used two of these super strong refuse sacks, one inside the other, for each load of rubbish.

"You won't believe this . . . " The Mother said to me early on Saturday morning and I guessed immediately what she was about to tell me.

Yes, the intruder had struck again, yet whatever was raiding our rubbish it was certainly not a cat. A fox? A wolf? Maybe.

Both layers of refuse sacks had been ripped apart and the turkey remains removed, leaving a trail of bone and bits across the lawn. There were, however, no pawprints on the ground to identify the culprit.

"Next Christmas, whether we eat turkey, duck, goose or chicken, we're getting the boneless variety from Marks and Spencer," I said to The Mother.

We tidied up again and this time, instead of leaving the refuse sacks on the ground, I found some cardboard boxes and stacked the sacks on top. "Beat that!" I said confidently to whatever lurked in the darkness before going to bed that night.

It did.

On Sunday morning it was obvious Old Whatever had been very industrious during the early hours. The cardboard boxes had been upended and the refuse sacks torn open in a frenzied manner.

Again there was no clue to our visitor's identity, no trace of fur or feather, no paw or footprint.

"That rules out a yeti and I doubt the Loch Ness Monster would want to be away from Scotland at Hogmanay," I told The Mother.

She wasn't amused. "We can't have this going on night after night," she said. "We don't know when the rubbish is going to be collected so we've got to think of something to keep whatever-it-is away from it."

"Don't worry, I know what to do," I said.

As we couldn't keep our uninvited guest away from the rubbish it was obvious the rubbish would have to be kept away from the intruder.

I carried the refuse sacks to the front of the house and left them safely inside the porchway. In my experience wild critters always prefer to operate behind your back.

Then, as the ultimate deterrent, I left Old Whatever a little midnight snack outside the back door - a couple of The Mother's home-made mince pies.

It hasn't been back since.

A pity really . . . there's still a dozen left.