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Gargoyle, Grotesque or Chimera

When I saw it in the corner of the garden shop, I knew we were meant to be together. I ran for my husband. “Look, a gargoyle. We need to have it in our backyard.”  (Click on the photo to enlarge it).

The Grotesque

The Grotesque

The shop owner laughed when he saw the little dance I was doing.

We’ve moved our gargoyle to different spots in the yard. One day, he’s in the herb garden. (I can’t call him “it” forever.) Another night, he’s under a tree with a spotlight shining up in his face. Right now, he rests on a wall. From this vantage point, we can always see him and he can always see us.

So what is this half dog, half bird creature? I had the choice of gargoyle, grotesque or chimera. Because dogbird did not have a spout, he couldn’t be a true gargoyle. I believe he is a grotesque. A grotesque is pretty much a gargoyle without a spout. If you mix multiple species together you have a chimera – think of The Great Sphinx.

I found a quirky poem called “The Gargoyle” by Oliver Herford that I have to share.

The Gargoyle often makes its perch
On a cathedral or a church,
Where, mid ecclesiastic style,
It smiles an early-Gothic smile.
And while the parson, dignified,
Spouts at his weary flock inside,
The Gargoyle, from its lofty seat,
Spouts at the people in the street,
And, like the parson, seems to say
To those beneath him, “Let us spray.”
I like the Gargoyle best; it plays
So cheerfully on rainy days,
While parsons (no one can deny)
Are awful dampers–when they’re dry.

I think I’m going to name our grotesque Oliver.