This is the best time of the year to talk about monsters.
When I was a little fellow, at that tender age when I was not quite sure where babies came from, my grandfather used to entice me to stay longer at his place by telling me stories about witches and aliens and local monsters.
He would speak of ugly forest witches who stole hens from neighbours, and of lake monsters that swallowed fishermen’s skiffs, and of green aliens that kidnapped beautiful girls. I would listen with bated breath.
‘More, more! Tell me more!’
Later, when my mother came to take me home, I told her everything.
‘You sweet little fool! Your grandfather has deceived you again!’
‘You mean a forest witch hasn’t stolen his hen two nights ago?’
She laughed and said,
‘Your grandmother made good use of that hen. She made tasty soup with it!’
But when I went to bed and turned off the light, the stilly and mysterious night comforted me, and I was certain that as I was falling asleep, in some distant, unexplored corner of the world, a monster was awakening…
- Do you believe in Medusa?
- In the Minotaur?
- In dragons?
- In witches?
- In the Wandering Jew?
- In Dracula?
- In Frankenstein?
- In the Loch Ness monster?
- In the Chupacabra?
All ages had their monsters…
This one maybe has the ultimate monster. The human being.
Monsters have to exist, because through their unfriendliness they teach us to be more friendly. Also, by simulating danger, they make us appreciate our safety and our peace more.
It’s true that their bad manners are a bad example for kids. But most monsters have monstrous endings, and that teaches naughty boys an important lesson: look what happens when you misbehave…
I believe in charming monsters.
In those that eat people to survive, not that survive to eat people.
I believe in monsters that have distinctive traits and peculiar habits, that exist not only so they can be shot, stabbed, imploded, immolated, or blown up.
Those that have an elusive presence which stirs rumors and keeps their legend alive for centuries…
Yes, I believe in my compatriot Dracula and in all those charming monsters I’ve named above, although I have never seen them.
But I don’t believe in zombies.