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Authors: Philippa Dowding

Tags: #Ages 9 & Up

The Gargoyle in My Yard (8 page)

BOOK: The Gargoyle in My Yard
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It is many years from now.

One summer day, a young boy is walking in an old English churchyard. It is a very pretty place, surrounded by rolling green hills and chestnut trees. A small, sweet river runs beside the church courtyard. An ancient stone lion looks to the west, his stone mane blazing in the sun. His left ear is broken off and lies in the grass at his feet.

The boy and his family are visiting the ruins of an old church, long abandoned now. The boy is wandering quietly by himself in the apple orchard, looking back up at the church and thinking about what it would have been like to live there, so long ago.

Suddenly, a small scurrying catches his eye. He looks more closely, steadying himself against a tree, and for a moment he is sure he sees two little figures disappear behind the church parapet. He sees the outline of a wing, a leathery head, and maybe a claw.

Stranger still, just as he is sure he imagined it, an apple core lands in the grass near him, followed by a trill of laughter.

It is an unusual but happy sound, like a language he is just beginning to forget. Or like the wind rustling in the winter leaves.

He turns to go and finds himself smiling in the warm sunshine.

A Note on Gargoyles

Gargoyles are everywhere. You’ll find them looking down on you in big cities and small towns. They may be funny animals, unusual people, or frightening, mystical creatures.

First created in Europe in the middle ages, true gargoyles were water downspouts on medieval buildings. The word “gargoyle” comes from the French “gargouille” which means “to gargle”—it’s the sound you’ll hear when water spouts through a gargoyle’s mouth. Look up—you never know where you’ll find a gargoyle!

Philippa Dowding wrote her first novel when she was nine and has worked at the craft of writing ever since. As a copywriter, her work has won several industry awards for magazines as varied as
Maclean’s, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent
The Beaver.

The Gargoyle In My Yard
was inspired by an experience in a strange little antique store. She looked up an ancient stairway and saw a small gargoyle statue on each step. When she turned away and looked back, each statue seemed to have moved. What began as a bedtime story for her children turned into this book.

Philippa lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. She can be contacted at


Text © 2009 Philippa Dowding

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise (except for brief passages for purposes of review) without the prior permission of Dundurn Press. Permission to photocopy should be requested from Access Copyright.

Cover art and design by Emma Dolan

Epub Design: Carmen Giraudy

Cataloguing Information Available from Library and Archives Canada

We acknowledge the support of the
Canada Council for the Arts
and the
Ontario Arts Council
for our publishing program. We also acknowledge the financial support of the
Government of Canada
through the
Canada Book Fund
Livres Canada Books
, and the
Government of Ontario
through the
Ontario Book Publishing Tax Credit
and the
Ontario Media Development Corporation

Care has been taken to trace the ownership of copyright material used in this book. The author and the publisher welcome any information enabling them to rectify any references or credits in subsequent editions.

J. Kirk Howard, President

BOOK: The Gargoyle in My Yard
10.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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