Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Gargoyles

The pigeon awoke, thinking that the roof upon which it perched had begun to collapse. It heard the sound of stone grinding on stone and the unpleasant shudder of disturbed masonry. It was an old bird, knew the sound meant that it wouldn't be getting as much sleep as it needed these days, and prepared to take off. Before it could leap into the air, the noise settled down and it heard a voice that sounded like water gurgling in a fountain.

"No, no, not quite right, I look stupid here."

The pigeon, normally not the bravest of creatures, crept around the chimney to get a better look.

A squat, ugly shape sat silhouetted in the moonlight. The shape kept a pair of wings folded against its body.

Coo? asked the pigeon.

"What? What? Sorry, didn't mean to disturb, didn't mean to wake you," gurgled the gargoyle.

Coo, said the pigeon.

The gargoyle stood up and stretched its wings. It sounded like several bricks rubbing together.

"No, no, I'll be fine, I'll be quite alright."


"You look familiar too, you look like a bird that I've seen before. Did you used to hang around the Gurgman, Watson and Lukrit Building, perching up there with the rest of the pigeons?"


"Then you probably did see me, we've probably met before. You'll be sorry to hear that the building was knocked down, a terribly comfortable roof to perch on, all those spires and porches and the gutters, by Brickus, the gutters. Never went thirsty on that building."


"Knocked down yesterday, demolished in fact, torn to chunks of jagged rubble that'd chafe my bottom, and nonetheless down on the ground and who likes that, with all its filthy dirt and business. Give me refined dirt, give me brick, that's what I like to say. A gargoyle that lives on dirt is just a lawn ornament!"


"No, these new buildings, they aren't right for an old-world gargoyle like me. I hate that all these builders have lost their religion. A good, comfy chapel is my favorite. Stained glass, some buttresses, now that's divine."


"That wouldn't work."

Coo coo.


Coo coo coo coo!

"I see!"



Coo, the pigeon said smugly.

The gargoyle lifted off into the night and then later, after he got his architecture degree and revitalized Gothic, he was considered a living legend by all of the gargoyles in North America.

The Moral: it's not what you look like, it's what's on the inside of your stony gargoyle heart that counts.

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