THE GARGOYLE AND THE PIGEON

A SANTHARIAN FAIRY-TALE

 
Master Tribell's Miraculous Narrations   
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Introduction. High up on a rooftop a gargoyle looks out at the horizon. Actually, he has done that for years, but more recently he has also been wondering what might be over there, behind that line of sight, for he has his own suspicions. A pigeon is only passing through when the gargoyle gets into a conversation with him - and together they find out some interesting truths. Which, as people later would say, leads to nothing less but a miracle...

 

ou know what I'm wondering?" the gargoyle said to the pigeon.

The pigeon had been sitting next to the stone statue for quite a while, looking into the distance, minding its own business. Now the bird turned its tiny head with a jerk towards the grotesque face, half monkey, half demon, a strange creature that had made a rooftop its habitat. It had one single horn on its forehead like a unicorn. The bird thought that the horn made it look a bit ridiculous.
 

The Gargoyle and the Pigeon

View picture in full size Picture description. The gargoyle and the pigeon. Image drawn by Morjer.

"So? What are you wondering?" the pigeon finally replied to the gargoyle after he had looked at him enough.

"I wonder what's over there..." the stone creature said. It helps to know that pigeon and gargoyle were on the roof of one of the town's highest buildings, overlooking large parts of the city. It was still not too late yet to survey the hustle and bustle on the streets from a vantage point like this, but whatever the town had to offer, it got more and more engulfed in the cloak of the night. "What is over there?" the gargoyle repeated.

"Where, over there exactly?" the pigeon asked back.
"Well, right there, way, way in the distance. Does it all end there?"

"Behind the horizon you mean?"

"Aye, if you so want," the gargoyle nodded. "Behind the horizon. What is a 'horizon' anyway?"

"You wouldn't know a horizon from a pair of slippers, would you?" the pigeon cooed, mocking him. "And yet you stare at it all the time! Life of a gargoyle, I guess..." The bird cackled, at least as much as pigeons are able to cackle. A full moon had risen by now, lending the town a placid atmosphere, and clouds unhurriedly moved towards the east. It was a lovely evening indeed and the bird enjoyed the breeze coming in from the sea that was caressing its feathers. And now it was having a chat with a gargoyle... "Well, the 'horizon'," he then explained to the gargoyle, "that's a word for 'as far as you can see', of course. But it doesn't all just end there. It goes on and on afterwards."

"You sure?" the gargoyle said in disbelief.

"Well, I'm not from here, if you must know, but it's the same everywhere," said the pigeon. "I trust it just goes on and on, on and on, here as well. Houses upon houses, and then more houses, and then maybe a river or a hill, or a mountain, that's what's different from town to town. But it does go on."

"Pray, can you make sure for me?" the gargoyle begged. "I really want to know. It's been bothering me for quite a while, and my colleague too wants to know. I cannot not think about it. Maybe it goes on elsewhere, but who says it doesn't actually end here on this horizon? Maybe it's the very last horizon?"

"Yeah, maybe it's the very last horizon!" the other gargoyle to his left agreed, though he didn't turn his head, after all he was made of stone.

"You bet!" the pigeon sneered, thinking that the gargoyles had lost their wits. "You two don't get around much, do you? Well, fine then, stone monkeys, I'll have a look. I'll be back later."

"We'll be here," the gargoyles both said at the same time.

It took until the next evening for the pigeon to return. The gargoyle and his colleague already feared the worst when they heard a flapping of wings and a familiar cooing. The pigeon must have returned! And indeed, there he was, the little bird!

"So?" the gargoyle wanted to know once his scout landed next to him. He was eager to learn the news. "What took you so long? What's over there? How was it?"


"It's just as I said..." he was told by the pigeon, all matter-of-fact. "No big surprises, really. I flew far, far out, and it goes on and on. Houses upon houses, and then more houses. And after that a river and a hill. And a mountain. That's just how it is. Here and elsewhere. Now you know."

"So it's not the last horizon here?" The gargoyle almost sounded disappointed.

"No, and I told you so already, if you'd only listen. You and your hunches, conjectures, whatever you name it. All balderdash!" said the pigeon and thought that settled the matter. "But you know what? I've come upon a couple of your like!"

"What do you mean 'your like'?" The gargoyle's eyes widened.

"Stone monkeys, numbskull! Gargoyles, just like you two!"

"Really? Just like us?" The statue was surprised.

"Got something in your ears?" the bird cooed. "Stone moneys, just like you! That's what I said, that's what I've seen. Some have two horns, long tails or enormous claws; others sit on large orbs, with wings and everything. Quite the collection throughout town!"

"But we're the only ones around here! I've never seen any other gargoyles, and I've been here all my life!" the stone figure said.

"And neither have I," the second gargoyles chipped in. "And I've been watching a whole different part of the town. This certainly cannot be, you're making this up, pigeon! We're the only ones around here!"

"Oh dear, oh dear," the pigeon jerked his head, looking alternately at the first gargoyle, then at the second. "You know why you haven't seen any other gargoyles? That's because it all ends at your horizon for you, nitwits! No wonder you get such dumb ideas about the world ending over there and what not..." The bird hopped at a ledge and pointed with its beak towards the outlines of a structure, which was much taller than the rest, however was difficult to recognize in the evening haze. "Over there, my friends! Look! If you squint you will see the three gargoyles sitting on top of that tower. And these are just the one's on this side, there are three more on the other, believe you me! And you'll find even more on other buildings!"

But the gargoyle said: "I cannot even turn my head, and you know it, pigeon! How could I ever be sure you speak the truth?"

"No, no, this most certainly cannot be, it's all made up!" The other gargoyle said. He had no doubt about that. "We're the only ones around here!"

"Well, fine then, suit yourself," the pigeon pouted. Already he prepared for taking off again, leaving the gargoyles alone with their narrow-mindedness.

"Dear pigeon?" the gargoyle suddenly pleaded in the softest voice he could muster. "Would you do me one more favor? Just that one?"

"What is it now?" the bird cooed, a bit annoyed.

"Could you..." The gargoyle was hesitating. "Could you pay these gargoyles you speak of a visit and convey our greetings? And ask them how they're faring over there? If they really do exist, they should know that there are others of their kind who think about them and care about them, even if they can't see them."

The bird considered the request, found it reasonable and so he agreed to play the messenger once more. It was for a good cause after all. "Fine then, I'll do it," the pigeon said. "One last message for you, stone monkeys! Expect me back a while later."

"Thank you kindly," the gargoyle said. "We'll be here."

The next night the pigeon returned and joined the gargoyles on their roof again, and this is what he told them: "The weirdest thing happened, stone monkeys! I visited all of the gargoyles I've seen the other night, and guess what they told me? What every single one of them told me?"

"What? What did they tell you?" both gargoyles asked in unison.

"They said: 'Hogwash! We're the only ones around here. Never have we seen any other gargoyles, and we've been here for all our lives!' and another said: 'I've been watching a whole different part of the town than my brother. Other gargoyles? This certainly cannot be! You're making this up, pigeon!'" The bird fluttered up and down in his agitation. "I'm telling you: It was uncanny!"

"Maybe that gargoyle is right and the pigeon is making this all up," the second gargoyle said. He had had his suspicions before, you know.

"If that gargoyle is right, then he exists as well, stonehead," the pigeon cooed. Which made the grotesque statue look somewhat stupid, and yet his appearance hadn't changed a bit. "But do whatever you want," the bird finally said. He was fed up with them. "The other gargoyles don't know about horizons either, so there. You're all so stuck in your ways, no wonder that you can't move anymore to see for yourself whether I'm telling the truth."

"But we've always been that way," the first gargoyle moaned.

"Sure, sure," the pigeon cooed cheekily. "But back in the days, at least so I've heard, every single gargoyle had wings of their own. Some even still do as you'd see for yourself at your friends over there. With a little effort they could be put to use, I'm sure, if they'd only tried! Though in your case..." The pigeon sighed, jerking its tiny head here and there, eyeing the gargoyle from various angles. "Well, maybe there were wings there somewhere on you once, though they must have merged with your bodies over time, because you didn't need them anymore. And so they have gone... Ah, what a pity!"

"But we can't move!" the gargoyle whined. "Not at all!"

"Have you ever tried?" the pigeon taunted. Then he lifted off, deigning the gargoyles with no further word, heading for the horizon.

'Have you ever tried?' it resonated in the gargoyle's head again and again long after the pigeon had flown off, never to be seen again. And the words echoed in his companion's head as well. 'Maybe I can at least move a claw, or a single finger,' the gargoyle thought. 'Maybe, if I only set my mind to it.. Maybe....'

And then he tried.

And this concludes our story for today about a gargoyle and a pigeon.

Why are we telling you this tale? Well, it is one of many explanations people have related to account for something strange that happened within the walls of our city not too long ago. Which was that all kinds of gargoyles sitting on the roofs of our highest buildings, be they great or small, lovely looking, grotesque, horrid, whatever they were and wherever they could be found, had, well disappeared. Overnight. One day they just were all gone for good. None of them had fallen from any ledge. There were no traces left whatsoever, not on top of the buildings, and neither below. Remarkably, exactly the same mysterious disappearances took place in the clock tower in the northernmost district, in the governor's observatory at the other end of the town and at the lighthouse way, way south on a lonesome island in midst of the sea.

Now admittedly, the story of the gargoyle and the pigeon is quite a wild one, isn't it? But so is the disappearance of these stone creatures into thin air. Nevertheless it happens, you know, from time to time at least, that those stuck in their ways finally do begin to move, and for the most curious of reasons. If it happens elsewhere, why not with the gargoyles on the roofs in our town? The truth of the matter is: Stone statues and narrow-minded people can be found everywhere. All it takes for a little miracle is hearts and minds making a first step.

And then off they go, towards new horizons... Who knows where they might end up?
 


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Fairy tale written by by Artimidor Federkiel View Profile