SOMETHING is puzzling the great insurance companies of France.
Every few months or so, a French provincial motorist submits a claim for damage to a vehicle with a wild attendant story about hitting a kangaroo deep in the ancient forest of Rambouillet.
The funny thing is, it's not made up.
It was in December, just before Christmas, recalls Brigitte Perrin, 56, who lives in the tiny forest township of Emance.
"My husband and I were driving home, and it was very cold and dark," she said. "Suddenly a kangaroo jumped in front of the car. It was like a deer, but a deer bounds away. This creature just sat there.
"Even though I was driving slowly, I couldn't avoid it, it was the same colour as the trees, very hard to see."
Renault: 1. Kangaroo: Nil.
But when Mme Perrin contacted her insurance company to claim for repairs to her vehicle, she hit a snag; the company raised a corporate eyebrow at her tale of the marauding moonlight macropod.
And fair enough; who would expect to find a kangaroo sniffing about just an hour from Paris? Emance Mayor Francoise Grangeon is now a regular correspondent with French insurance companies.
She has written numerous letters vouching for the presence of kangaroos - wallabies, actually - roaming wild in the Rambouillet Forest.
They have bred in the wild there for about 30 years, having escaped long ago from the local Parc de Sauvage wildlife park. And despite a long period of expatriate life, they have evidently not yet learned to look before they cross French roads.
In the meantime, the municipality of Emance has reached a truce of sorts with the insurance industry.
Emance grants residency status to the roos, and the insurers pay up.
Now to introduce the saltwater crocodile.