Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 19, 2004
Welcome Home Duncan
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 19, 2004 – I’ve had a very busy, successful week. It’s Saturday and time for me to enjoy a day away from work and indulge in some retail therapy. My first destination is Moss, a home decor store on the Danforth.
I bought some storage baskets for my office there last September and chunky green wine glasses and clear charger plates last Christmas. They have an eclectic inventory and the staff are a merry bunch. I’ve driven by a few times this spring and seen fun things on the sidewalk, but I haven’t had time to pop in for a visit.
They carry statuary and I’ve been wondering about a back yard Buddha. He could ring my garden bell every morning at daybreak in lieu of my alarm clock. A chubby cock of the walk – the urban answer to a barnyard rooster.
With these thoughts in mind I walked through the front door. I’m never disappointed at this store and today was no exception. They have wonderful patio furniture, great gardening tools, loads of wrought iron decorations, garden fountains, outdoor mats and rugs that are mildew proof, urns and pots, fabulous chair cushions, iron cats and dogs, and an assortment of different sized Buddhas.
A perusal of said religious icon was in order and I wandered around looking for a Buddha who either spoke to me directly or winked at me when I walked past. Buying a Buddha is akin to selecting a Teddy Bear. Unfortunately, none of these jolly fellows addressed me personally. I was just about to leave the store, when I saw a concrete Gargoyle perched high up on a shelf near the cashier’s counter.
I drifted over to have a closer look, feigning disinterest, in the unlikely event that anyone else had spied him at the same time. Unlike Arthur and Roger, this chap has no chain around his neck, but he is sticking his tongue out, in direct contravention of acceptable social protocol. I liked him immediately.
Arthur had dibs on my back garden for a number of years before Roger joined the fray this spring. I left it to them to sort out the gargoyle hierarchy on the patio and they seem to have reached a workable accommodation. Now here I was considering yet another addition to the brethren. Perhaps fur, or bits or concrete, would fly. It was a chance I’d just have to take. Accordingly said Gargoyle was hoisted down from his shelf and rolled in plastic bubble wrap for the trip home.
Malcolm was the first name that came to my mind, but it wasn’t quite right. Jack – Dudley – Bill – Oliver and Reginald were briefly in the running. I settled on Duncan for no other reason that it was the right name. Very Shakespearian – I think King Lear and Macbeth would be pleased. Back at home, I made the appropriate introductions as I moved Roger over to sit beside Arthur at the corner of the pergola.
Duncan has Roger’s old spot on the concrete bench by the garden gate. Unlike Arthur and Roger who are pudgy four legged, four toed Gargoyles, Duncan is tall, long and lean with back legs that form into a tail that is tucked up under his body. I’m sure that conversations are going on as I type, between Arthur and Roger about the hybrid interloper who has joined the garden party. So be it – Duncan is here to stay – a gift to myself and my garden for a hard week’s work.
I sat on my chaise longue and had a salad and a cup of tea. It’s been a cool, sunny day. I’m feeling relaxed and content. I stifled a few yawns as I watched the three Gargoyles – defenders of my property. It doesn’t matter a whit to me that the Gargoyle’s original purpose was to carry water away from buildings through spouts in their snouts.
My Gargoyles protect me and mine, and now that there are three of them – ain’t nobody gonna mess with my hearth or home. You’ll see what I mean if you buy a Gargoyle for your garden – you’ll feel safe and sound. The only thing is – I have no idea what they do while I sleep. Perhaps that explains the pizza box on my patio table last night.