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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fabulous Beasts 3, The Loch Ness Monster

[Photo: Freefoto.com; Loch Ness. Run!]
On August 4, 1933, according to the "Inverness Courier", a London man, Geo. Spicer --while motoring around the Loch-- had seen "the nearest approach to a dragon... that I have ever seen in my life", trundling across the road toward the Loch carrying "an animal" in its mouth. He described the creature as having a large body, 4 feet high and 25 feet long, a narrow neck, slightly thicker than an elephant's trunk as long as the width of the road and with as many undulations in it. It lurched across the road towards the loch, leaving a trail of broken mucous-covered undergrowth.

The Inverness Shire Chief Constable penned a letter stating that, although a woman of that description was reported "strayed after domestic dispute" by her husband just that morning, the monster existed beyond doubt. He also enthusiastically implied serious thrill-seeking scientific parties could avail themselves of the many fine local inns and restaurants at a discount. The letter was released by the National Archives of Scotland on April 27th, 2010. That they received the letter only the day before indicates an alacrity not shared by the Inverness Shire Post Office since at least 1932.

That same month, a motorcyclist claimed to have nearly hit a monster while approaching Abriachan on the north-eastern shore, at about one a.m. on a moonlit night. He saw a small head attached to a long neck. The creature saw him and crossed the road back into the loch. A veterinary student, he described it as a typical hybrid between a seal and a plesiosaur, which glanced back at him with a look he could only describe as flirtatious. The motorcyclist said he dismounted and followed it to the loch, but only saw ripples. Certainly, ripples in a lake can mean only one thing: a monster has submerged!

My own researches into this mystery took me into review of citizens on the south-western shore who approximated the Courier description and could swim really well. My efforts were rewarded with an inn listing, "Nessie's", that has not undergone ownership change since its establishment nearly 80 years ago. Its proprietress is described as a regional treasure who, although not particularly handsome, has a great personality.

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