I’ve been reading Abominable Science! by Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero. It’s a serious work on cryptozoology, with reluctant debunking of cryptids like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. I was okay with Bigfoot and the Yeti (though fascinated to discover that Yeti was a big part of the conquest of Everest), but sad about Nessie and sea serpents in general.

I like sea serpents.

As I was contemplating the end of my ability to believe in sea serpents, and how much I like them — as much as dragons — I suddenly recalled a sea serpent from my childhood. A sea serpent, it then struck me, who was a pet. I was racking my brain for the book this must have come from when I suddenly thought it was a cartoon. A TV cartoon, perhaps?

I had a picture in my mind, but also a goofy voice. Both were faint memories. They seemed to develop like old camera film as I thought about them, but still seemed hazy. Of course, it was Google to the rescue and I quickly found Beany and Cecil.

I have not thought of this program since the 1960s, when I was a little girl and presumably watch it on TV, but I was able to sing along to the song. Would I have recalled it without Google? I don’t know.

I clearly remember the fascination of the Loch Ness monster when I was a child, and the stories of sea serpents. I don’t know why Cecil became such a submerged memory, but I’m willing to believe that he was part of the reason I’m so fond of sea monsters (in which category I include Nessie).

Our memories are all in our minds somewhere, but retrieving them is not always easy or successful. Some things never get rehearsed or called upon, and they are hidden away in the idiosyncratic filing system of the brain. They’re still there, though, and we can still access them. It was interesting to experience the process.