A Giggle of Gargoyles

The first true gargoyles appeared in Ancient Egypt and in France in the 13th century. The word gargoyle is derived from the French word gargouille, meaning gullet or throat. A true gargoyle is a functioning rainspout, while solely decorative architectural beasts are referred to as chimeras or grotesques. They were intended to strike the fear of Hell into the Church’s mostly-illiterate parishioners. Placed on a cathedral’s exterior wall, they reinforced the idea that evil dwelt outside and salvation was within. In 2012 I was investigated by my county government for being a witch, due to the gargoyle-like beast I sculpted that lives on the roof of my house—true story. I totally made up “giggle” as the collective noun.

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