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Here there be Dragons: Gargouilles — The dragon that turned to stone

Like guivres, gargouilles prowled medieval France. You can tell the difference between the two species because guivres are the ones with the poison breath, and gargouilles are the ones that spew water.

Gargouilles are big enough to swallow rivers, which they then expel through massive jaws, drowning villages and crops under great waves. Gargouilles also ate sailors and capsized boats on the Seine.

The archbishop of Rouen, later St. Romain, had had enough. He decided to go talk to his local gargouille, to make it see reason. Unsurprisingly, no one volunteered to go with him, except for a condemned murderer, in exchange for his freedom if he lived.

When the guys got to the dragon’s lair, it appeared. The monster seemed more likely to eat them to talk, and Romain reacted instinctively, holding up two fingers in the sign of the cross.

The gargouille laid down, subdued by sacred symbol. The murderer could then bind the monster using the archbishop’s stole and together they lead it back to the town (for some reason). The townspeople then burned the dragon alive.

To commemorate the occasion, the archbishop of Rouen is allowed to pardon one prisoner every year on Ascension Day.

And the monstrous stone waterspouts put on medieval French buildings are named ‘Gargoyles,’ which comes from the same root word as gargouilles–both of them mean ‘gargler.’

About teresawilde

Author of Young Adult Paranormals, Paranormal Romance, Historical Paranormal Romance, tragical- comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, and poem unlimited.

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