Gargoyleby Edwina Stanton Babcock
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:
Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed
“You know that nest in the tree we call the Siegfried tree?”
“The other day a bird fell out of it, one of the young ones, pushed out by a housecleaning mother, I suppose. It killed the poor little feathered gawk. I saw Gargoyle run, quick as a flash, and pick it up. He pushed open the closing eyes, tried to place the bird on a hollyhock stalk, to spread its wings, in every way to give it motion. When, after each attempt, he saw it fall to the ground, he stood still, looking at it very hard. Suddenly, to my surprise, he seemed to understand something, to comprehend it fully and delightedly. He laughed.” Strang stopped, looking intently at his wife.
“I can imagine that laugh,” she mused.
Strang shook his head. “I don’t think you can. It–it wasn’t pleasant. It was as uncanny as the rest of the little chap–a long, rattling, eerie sound, as if a tree should groan or a butterfly curse; but wait–there’s more.” In his earnestness Strang sat up, adding, “Then Gargoyle got up and stretched out his hands, not to the sky, but to the air all around him. It was as if–” Here Strang, the normal, healthy man of the world, hesitated; it was only the father of the little boy who had died who admitted in low tones: “You would have said–At least even I could imagine that Gargoyle–well–that he saw something like a released principle of life fly happily back to its main source–as if a little mote like a sunbeam should detach itself from a clod and, disembodied, dart back to its law of motion.”
For a long time they were silent, listening to the call of an oven-bird far back in the spring trees. At last Strang got up, filled his pipe, and puffed at it savagely before he said, “Of course the whole thing’s damned nonsense.”
A strange and disturbing piece about a couple trying to raise their son who is deaf-and-mute…until suddenly he’s neither. The story is confusing, and very backwards in its treatment of the Deaf. Still, there’s a poeticism to the world and to the thick language which might make for a quirky show along the lines of Bat Boy.
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