Sea monsters

It’s a Kootenay right of passage. You wobble up on your waterskis and maybe make it across the wake for the first time. Just as you’re congratulating yourself, you tumble spectacularly into the waves. Then you forget to let go of the rope, get water up your nose, and surface with your hair plastered so thoroughly across your face you worry you might suffocate. You wait, hyperventilating, while the boat chugs away from you to rescue the ski that went flying.

Just as you’re left behind, bobbing alone in the ocean-sized lake, your dad calls, “Don’t let the sturgeons get your toes!”

I am not alone in this. Kootenay-raised children gather in church basements all around the world to discuss their lingering fears of giant fish.

And check out the news I’m taking to my next meeting: Kogopogo.

(For the record, these fish are important, as are the efforts being made to rescue the species. But good luck thinking about ecology as you tread water.)

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