by Scott Wheeler
Pulling up to the Canadian Customs at Beebe,Quebec, several years ago, I rolled down the window to my truck as the officer walked in my direction. I had passed through the border enough in my time to know the song and dance—where are you going? How long are you going to be in the country? And are you bringing anything across with you, and such?
This journey was a bit different, though. The officer walked over to the truck and started with his questions. Then I noticed him glancing into the bed of my truck. He’d noticed my pitchfork back there.
“Why do you have that with you?” the officer asked. Realizing the officer was a nice enough fellow and there weren’t any cars behind me, I said something to the effect of, “You won’t believe me if I tell you.”
I then went on to ask him if he thought he’d heard every story any border crosser could tell. He indicated that was probably the case but he told me to give him a try.
“I’m going monster hunting,” I told him.
“You’re going monster hunting?” he repeated with a question at the end of his sentence.
“Yup, that’s right, I’m going hunting for Memphre,” I said. To those of you not familiar with Memphre, it is the mythical dinosaur-like creature said to lurk in the bowels of LakeMemphremagog. Not wanting the officer to think I was a complete nut, I quickly told him I was taking part in the makings of a movie called, The Legend of Memphre. The movie, or more accurately, a “mockumentary,” part hardcore documentary and part satire, was being filmed— half inNewport,Vermont, and half on theQuebec side of the lake. That pitchfork he was looking at was a possible prop for the movie as we took to the lake to possibly fend off an angry lake monster.
We laughed a bit about the myth of Memphre and he quickly let me go on my way for the filming.
As a side note, a Canadian researcher involved in the movie concluded that there is no chance that Memphre, or any other giant dinosaur-like creature, lurks inLakeMemphremagog, so don’t be afraid to go for a swim or a boat ride in the lake.