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Being Nessie: Keep Me Alive

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Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, has been in the hearts and heads of people almost as long as genuine written history. Whatever the creature is, or whatever it is that people think they see at the Loch, needs to be preserved.

Why?

People in general love myths. Look how long the myth of Santa Claus has been around, at least here in America. Without this belief, the economy would suffer. Think of the bazillions of dollars being spent because people want their tiny tots to share the myth of a Santa, just as they did as youngsters.

I remember the night when my father simply announced at the dinner table that like the mythical Easter Bunny, which I had already lost faith in, Santa Claus was also a myth. It was my mom and pop who bought Christmas gifts and adorned the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, along with it’s equally exciting underground of houses, children, and a host of other ill-fitting layout mismatches. My sister, two years older than me, had made no comment; I was a bit too stunned to speak. Plus, Dad said, “Now let’s drop the subject and eat.”

But as I thought about it, it began to make sense now. Christmas and Santa Claus were there so that my sister and I as children could enjoy the absolute magic of Christmas morning. I thought of all the children around the world who still believed in the myth and in a very odd way, I felt both saddened and yes, cheated.

So why give up the myth of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster? People have believed in Nessie as far back as the 6th century when Saint Columba, an Irish Monk, allegedly tamed the beast so that it no longer killed humans. Of course, Saint Columba also converted most of the Scottish population into believing that Jesus Christ had come to save all mankind from eternal damnation provided they follow Jesus’ precepts.

As far as I know, none of the so-called sightings, photographs, drawings, and pictures of Nessie have ever been proven authentic. No corpse has ever been found; not even a bone. Sonar recordings of the deep Loch Ness fault have found nothing. It would even appear that, eventually, doctored up photos have either been proven to be, or admitted to be—fakes.

The most common belief is that Nessie has survived by generating offspring in the lake since the age of the plesiosaur. It is quite shy and obviously breathes via some kind of gill system. If not, Nessie comes up for air only occasionally when people are not around.

My point is this. Why ruin such a myth? Unlike the Santa Claus belief, Nessie is a myth for people and for all ages. Tourists have travelled to Scotland and stayed at inns around the lake because as a body of water, Loch Ness is beautiful to behold. And yet, like me, I would imagine that many who visit not only come for the beauty of the land, but for the thrilling chance that they will be the persons to finally get on video, conclusive proof that Nessie, the Loch Ness monster actually lives. Long live Nessie!

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