When it comes to the study of cryptozoology, the animals in question are generally presumed to exist by only a handful of scholars and researchers among the population (myself included) who have spent years hoarding information on the subject of their existence.
Though there are a few in the academic realm who would, also embrace the notion that, most certainly, there exist creatures on planet Earth that have yet to be discovered, seldom would such animals be considered likely candidates for IQ tests. However, what if cryptozoological monstrosities like Sasquatches, lake monsters, and other denizens of the unseen realm were smarter than most give them credit for?
I recently enjoyed a book by science fiction writer Gordon R. Dickson called Love Not Human. The novel, better described as a collection of science fiction stories all dealing with inter-species expression of love and goodwill across the cosmos, ends with a rather long installment titled “The Monster and the Maiden.” In this portion of the book, the story of a family of four remnant plesiosaurs living in Loch Ness unfolds as they struggle to save a batch of eggs–the key to their continuation as a species–while a group of contractors armed with harpoons seek to bring in the Loch’s big game. In a unique twist, Dickson imagines how the creatures might behave if, after residing in the Loch’s cold waters for eons, they had evolved to be intelligent.
The Youngest, as our story’s protagonist is called, ends up breaking the taboos of her “tribe” in order to save a diver from the party pursuing her family, who ends up being set adrift beneath the water, unconscious after her uncle severs a long leader attaching him and a sonar device they were using to their ship. The Youngest, feeling pity for the unconscious diver (while slowly beginning to recognize her own maternal instincts, saves the diver, who she carries back to a cave where he may obtain oxygen on a bare rock emerging from the water. The so-called “maiden” continues to care for the diver, and eventually befriends him in a way, while the diver signals with gestures that he needs another diving pack to be able to return to his ship, which she manages to retrieve for him. Upon her return, he then tries to convince The Youngest through similar gestures to appear above the surface before he and his shipmates (with apparent dubious intentions). Offended by the very notion, she returns him to his boat, still troubled by the motherly feelings she had for her new plaything.
At one point during the story, The Youngest actually creeps up onto the rock in the cave where she brought the diver, and noticing him shivering, decides to warm him with her body heat. Ironically, a similar story is actually said to have occurred in the annals of cryptozoology, but with a very different sort of creature. In 1938 a Himalayan explorer remembered as Captain d’Auvergue, curator of Calcutta’s Victoria Memorial, had apparently been traversing a mountainous stretch when he began having difficulty navigating during a snowstorm, unable to see with the tremendous snow that had suddenly began battering him. During the blizzard that ensued, he d’Auvergue had said he might have perished, had a 3-meter tall figure not appeared, hovering over him and sheltering him during the heart of the storm. d’Auvergue apparently became unconscious during a portion of the blizzard, but upon recovering, found that his large hairy helper had disappeared. Apparently, the Calcuttan believed he had been saved by none other than a Yeti–the infamous abominable snowman of Sherpa legends.
If this story can be believed, it perhaps not only illustrates the potential intelligence such creatures might yield, but it no doubt shows that, much as author Gordon Dickson surmised, love is certainly one of the most powerful forces in all the universe, and that it can even traverse the boundaries between animal, human, and those entities which might fall someplace in-between… should we ever succeed conclusively in proving their existence. That said, I recently discovered this video, which similarly illustrates the peculiar circumstances where maternal instincts and, for lack of a better term, love, sometimes come into play: