The Gargoyle of Argyle

by Père Robért

The day after yesterday,
A long time ago,
In a far-distant land
That was quite close to home,

Something happened so sudden,
That I don’t really know
Exactly what happened,
‘Cause it happened so slow.

I had finished my dinner
And just gone to bed
When a lump in my pillow
Made a lump in my head.

So I fluffed up the down,
Tried to put the lump right,
But the lump was still left
When I put out the light.

I lit the lump with a lamp,
Then I opened the case,
And up from the eider down
Came an upside-down face.

Well, the cat got my tongue
When I started to speak,
And the most I could utter
Was “Eek!” and “Eek! Eek!”

For the face had a body
That was shaped like a rock
That was colored all over
Like a bright-colored sock.

“I’m the Gargoyle of Argyle,”
He said with a grin.
“I’m the Gargoyle of Argyle.
Please, won’t you come in?”

“The Gargoyle of Argyle”?
— A most appropriate name
For a multi-hued monster
To proudly proclaim.

And he was quite a monster,
He was also quite nice,
For he never repeated
What he once had said twice.

“Please, won’t you join me?
It’s such a nice place
Inside of the outside
Of your striped pillow case.”

“I’d be happy to join you,
But it’s bound to be tough,”
I said with dismay,
“I’m not little enough.”

He said,”Size doesn’t matter,
Size can be changed,
Size doesn’t matter,
It’s all been arranged.

“Put your head at the feet
And your feet at the head
Of your perfectly normal,
Quite magical bed.

“Say this charm only once,
Say it twice or three times,
Saying just what I say,
Or recite your own rhymes.

“Saying ‘Pixie of Paisley,
Polka Dot Puck,
Houndstooth Hobgoblin,’
Cross your fingers for luck.”

I said what he said
And before I could blink,
After hours had passed,
I started to shrink.

Though ever so crowded,
There was plenty of space
For the gargoyle and me
In my striped pillow case.

We weren’t there alone
For he had other guests,
All taking vacations
From knights errant’s crests.

There were harpies and griffins
And sphinxes galore,
Centaurs and satyrs,
Chimeras and more.

There were ogres and giants,
Dwarves and a troll,
Nymphs, imps, and mermaids
— All exceedingly droll.

Like the Gargoyle of Argyle,
His fabulous friends
Were cloth-covered characters
In cottons and blends.

They were great fun to play with,
The time surely did fly,
And I hated to leave when
It came time to say bye.

“I loved meeting you all,
But I must get to sleep,
I’ve got playschool tomorrow
And appointments to keep.

“Goodbye, Damascene Dragon,
Herringbone Gnome,
Leopardskin Leprechaun,
I’ve got to go home!”

There was one little problem:
My parents might see
I was one-tenth the size
That I once used to be.

“Size doesn’t matter,”
Said the Gargoyle again,
And the next thing I knew
I’d expanded times ten.

When I woke the next morning,
There wasn’t a trace
Of the Gargoyle of Argyle
In my striped pillow case.

The lump in my pillow
I could now validate
Was one of Dad’s argyles
Missing its mate.

Still, it wasn’t a dream:
Believe it or not,
The Gargoyle of Argyle
Is more than a sock.

Who sleeps in my pillow?
Who tugs at my hair?
It’s the Gargoyle of Argyle,
I’m certain he’s there.

When a lump’s in your pillow,
Who knows what you might find?
For a lump in your pillow’s
A sure gargoyle sign!

©1995, F.R. Duplantier

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