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A Seahorse called Ling

Ling was a seahorse living in the Knysna Laguna. He was very lonely and pushed around by everyone. His only friend was Osty a beautiful shiny oyster. Osty was a good friend and never played practical jokes on him.

Ling can still remember the day the teasing began. He was swimming around a rock minding his own business, when he saw a big monster. He was very scared. He swam away screaming for help. Instead everyone was laughing at him. The other creatures in the Laguna was joking with him. What he saw was a pipe fish covered in seaweed.

Ling was crying and Osty comforted him. She told him that he had a good reason to be scared. Monsters do exist. She then told him about a lake far away. In that lake was a big monster. That monster was like the Knysna Elephant. Everybody was talking about him, but he was seldom seen. This monster was called the Loch Ness Monster.

Osty gave Ling a hug to make him feel better. She also gave him something that he can keep with him if he needs comforting. It was a beautiful pink pearl.

That night Ling decided to go and find the Loch Ness Monster. He will be able to show the other creatures that he was caught off guard and not really scared of the camouflaged pipe fish.

He took his knapsack containing a camera, the pearl and food. He was on his way to the Southern Right Whale Station outside the Knysna Heads. Getting through the Heads was going to be a challenge, but he will cross that wave when he gets to it.

The swells at the Heads were big. Suddenly a yellow wood plank was floating past him. He grabbed hold of it and with a little struggle climbed onto it. On the plank was written "Paquita"

He safely got to the Whale Station, but no-one was there. They already left for the Antarctic. Disappointed and heartbroken, Ling turned back to the gasping opening of The Heads to face the creatures in the Knysna Laguna. "Seahorse, Seahorse what are you doing here?"

It was a whale. Ling told him his story. The whale said he was left behind to secure the Whale Station. "I have always wanted to see the Northern Hemisphere and I will take you to Lake Loch Ness. Let's go and find your Monster. I will catch up with the others later".

Ling and the whale left. One bright full moon night they reached Lake Loch Ness. They were travelling for many days and Ling felt homesick. He took out the pearl Osty gave him. The pearl was shining beautifully in the soft moonlight.

Suddenly the calm waters around Ling and the whale made a wave. An enormous monster made his appearance. The pearl was so shiny that the monster was looking at it with curiosity. Ling put the pearl on the breathing hole of the whale. He took out his camera and took picture's of the monster from all angles.

A cloud moved in front of the moon and everything became pitch dark. The monster splashed back into the water. It was gone as if it never came.

Ling and the whale spend the night in the lake. The next morning they headed back home.

The whale dropped Ling of at the Whale Station and Ling said goodbye to his new friend. The yellow wood plank was surprisingly still there and he had no trouble swimming through the Heads into the Laguna.

The creatures in the Knysna Laguna were happy and relieved to see him. Ling told them about his adventure. He showed them the photo's of the Loch Ness Monster looking at the pearl. Everyone admired Ling.

To welcome him back and honour the role the pearl played in the adventure a festival was organised. It was called the Oyster Festival.

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