Oggy the Ogopogo: A Cryptid Fairy Tale
There was once an animal unlike any other living in Okanagan Lake. All who have seen it says it looks like a sea serpent, only smaller. It was adopted as a hatchling and raised by fish parents, as if it were one of their own. They named him Oggy.
No one knew what Oggy was or where he came from. No one knew for sure if Oggy was even a boy. Oggy didn’t know either because there wasn’t anyone else like him. As far as he was concerned, he was just Oggy.
As Oggy grew bigger and braver he would swim further and further away from home. The lake was very large. He wanted to see it all. Everyone else who lived in the lake laughed at him for being different or being adopted, or not knowing what he was. Some of the fish even joked he was left behind by aliens.
One day while out exploring he came upon an eagle sitting on a rock.
“Are you the Ogopogo?” The bird asked.
“The what?” Asked Oggy.
“The Ogopogo. It’s what the humans call the lake monster that lives here.” The eagle explained. “They are afraid it will tip their boats and they will drown. I have lived here all my life and I have never seen anything like you. You must be the lake monster.”
“You could be the lake monster,” Oggy said.
“I’m an eagle,” said the bird.
Oggy introduced himself. “I’m Oggy.
“What are you?” asked the eagle.
Oggy thought for a moment. “I don’t know…but I’m a fish at heart,” he explained.
“You are no fish!” The eagle laughed. “How can you not know what you are?”
Oggy was used to this sort of thing. “I’ve never met anyone else like me. No one else has met anyone else like me, so how am I supposed to know what I am?”
“The only explanation is you are the Ogopogo!” The eagle was proud of himself for figuring it out. He could not wait to tell the other birds that he met the lake monster.
“But I don’t want to be a lake monster!” Being a lake monster did not sound like a good thing to be.
“Too bad. One does not get to pick what they are born as.” The eagle explained
“What does a lake monster do?” Oggy asked.
“They go around terrorizing and eating people.”
“That doesn’t sound very nice.” Oggy sighed. “How do you make friends doing that?”
Oggy wanted to cry. He wanted friends. He wanted to belong. He especially did not want to eat anyone. He slowly turned around and swam home thinking about what the eagle said. It was true, he was the most unique creature living in the lake. But was he really a monster? Was that why the other lake animals didn’t like him? He did not feel like a monster. He had never done anything monster-like. Maybe his parents would know. He would ask them when he got home.
It was late when Oggy got home. “Where have you been?” His mother asked.
“Exploring the lake.” Oggy replied. “I met an eagle.”
Oggy’s father looked as worried as a fish could look. “Eagles are not to be trusted. They eat fish.”
“What did the eagle want?” Asked his mother.
Oggy started to cry. “He was rude and told me that I was a monster called an Ogopogo and that was why no one liked me.”
Oggy’s parents tried without any luck to comfort him. They told him that they loved him no matter what he was. It was true he couldn’t change what he was born as, but he could decide who he would become. Oggy just cried harder. Finally he cried himself to sleep.
The next day Oggy spotted some fishermen. He stopped and watched them. They were using large nets to catch fish. When he was younger, Oggy’s father told him to avoid the fishermen and their nets. Fish trapped in the nets were taken away and they never came back.
Oggy decided he was going to do his best to protect the lake from the fisherman and help everyone in the lake the best he could. He would prove that he was no monster! But the fishermen might think him a monster and try to catch him. He decided he didn’t care what they thought.. They didn’t know him.
Oggy spent his days destroying fishing platforms, tearing up fishing nets, and splashing the fishermen with his tail. Soon there was no more fishing in the lake. Stories were told of how the lake monster was angry at them for taking his fish. The fish were now safe.
Oggy continued to explore the lake, making sure the fishermen hadn’t returned. One day, close to home, he saw the eagle again. This time the eagle was flying over the lake as if looking for something, maybe a lost feather. Oggy watched in horror as the eagle dove down and snatched up his father.
“HELP! SOMEONE HELP!” He heard his father yell.
Oggy leapt from the water and grabbed the eagle by his tail feathers. The eagle dropped Oggy’s father. He landed in the water with a loud splash. As Oggy dove headfirst back into the water in a graceful arch, he swallowed the eagle.
One of the fishermen watched what happened. He ran back to the village to tell a tale of how the great water god was angered by a fish-eating eagle and how it was swallowed in one gulp.
Eating the eagle made Oggy sick. He stayed in bed for a week with a stomachache. He never wanted to eat another eagle as long as he lived. The fish, turtles, snakes, and other creatures that made the lake their home declared Oggy a hero and he had more friends than he ever hoped for. He was no longer Oggy the lake monster. He was Oggy the Ogopogo, protector of the lake.