Encounter with Nessie (Bob) – Inverness, Scotland

Encounter with Nessie (Bob)

Inverness, Scotland

After eating last evening in Inverness, I walked back to my lodging. I crossed the River Ness and decided to take a stroll along the bank. It was late although still twilight, and the area was completely deserted. The river flows quite swiftly, and I stopped to watch a flock of seagulls floating backwards and bobbing for scraps. Suddenly, they all rose, as in a panic, and flew toward shore. I saw what had disturbed them, a large v-shaped ripple moving rapidly against the current. I watched curiously, wondering what could be pushing so powerfully against the force of the river. Then the ripple turned and came toward the bank where I was standing. I stood in wonder and then fear as a large, tubular shaped object reared high out of the water. Submarine, periscope? I thought confusedly, until I noticed big round eyes almost covered by coquettishly long lashes. And then, at least twenty-five feet past the head, I saw a tail flick out of the water. Stunned, I could only gasp, “Nessie!”

Then, to my even greater amazement, the cavernous mouth opened, and past rows of large yellow teeth, a thick brogue emerged, “And just who else did you think it would be, Sherlock?”

I staggered back; “You…you don’t eat Americans, do you?”

“Give me credit for some taste, Laddie; though actually I turned vegan a hundred years ago.” I fumbled excitedly for my camera. “Nay, we’ll have none of that; more publicity is all I need.”

Disappointed that my fifteen minutes of fame was going glimmering along with the twilight, I put the camera aside. “You were coming up from the sea,” I said; “Been away?”

“Aye, been visiting a lass that summers in a Norway fiord.”

“Excuse me for getting personal; but although you’ve got those long lashes you keep batting at me, and although your name is ‘Nessie,’ you don’t sound female.”

“And that I’m not; I was christened ‘Robert,’ but you can call me ‘Bob.’ Take everything you’ve heard about me with a shaker full of salt.”

“Besides you and the Norway girl, how many of your kind are left?”

A sad look came into his eyes, “Not many: a fellow down in the Congo and a cantankerous, old biddy in Lake Champlain; that’s about it.”

“You got anything going with this Norway gal?”

“Nay, Lad, we’re just friends. Our whole clan put a moratorium on that kind of thing a few hundred years back. We older ones can take care of ourselves; but with all your technology, sooner or later, you would have captured one of the wee ones; and then it would have been dissection or Marine World. We couldn’t have that. When we go, that will be the end of it.”

We were silent for a while. “Tell me, Lad, do you believe in the Abominable Snowman…Yeti, Sasquatch, Bigfoot?”

“Not really,” I said, “although I could change my mind. Why do you ask?”

“I don’t know,” he replied after a long moment. “I guess I don’t believe in them either…but I would like to. The world needs something like them: odd, mysterious, not pinned down by science. Something you can’t quite believe in, but something you can never be quite sure about. Am I making myself plain, Lad?”

“Yes, you are; I felt that way myself until quite recently.”

“Well,” said Bob, glancing around, “I must be getting on. To tell the truth, I’m just a wee bit afraid of the dark. It’s been a pleasure.”

“The pleasure was all mine; are you sure about that photo?”

“I’m sure; it just won’t do.” He hesitated, “But I’ll tell you what, hand me your camera” I did, and a long, pink, surprisingly delicate forked tongue flicked out. One fork held the camera, and the other fiddled with the controls, “Say ‘Cheese.'”

“Cheese,” the camera clicked, and the flash illuminated the fading twilight. “Nobody’s going
to believe this,” I said.

“You’re right, Lad; but you will.” He dropped the camera in my hand, and then the great bulk
slid backwards into deeper water, the head disappeared with a last wave of the lashes, and I
watched until the v-shaped ripple vanished upriver into the gathering night.