The beast had always found it easier to stay beneath the lake.
The risk of poking its head above was too great to contemplate nowadays.
There were places more dangerous than others, like near the boat ramp where crowds gathered to watch the tourism boats take off in the hope of catching a glimpse of it.
On those days it swam to the far end of the lake where a cave allowed it to hide and listen to the sounds of the motorboat as it turned at lake’s end and headed back.
It had once stuck its head out and been seen, or at least they thought they had seen it. Once it came across a piece of newspaper floating on the surface and on it was a grainy image taken that day, and if that was all, there was then it felt confident in its own safety.
The beast had lived a long time beneath the surface, live a long time alone after its mate had died. It was the last of its kind, and it wondered how long it might survive.
The lake, however, was its home, and only one human had ever come close to it, that was an encounter both remembered. The human had watched closely as the beast came close one as curious as the other. Their eyes met, and the human smiled, and the beast knew they were both safe.