The Griffin and the Minor Canon by Frank R. Stockton Found in Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman

OVER THE GREAT DOOR OF AN OLD, old church which stood in a quiet town of a far-away land there was carved in stone the figure of a large griffin. The old-time sculptor had done his work with great care, but the image he had made was not a pleasant one to look at. It had a large head, with an enormous open mouth and savage teeth; from its back arose great wings, armed with sharp hooks and prongs; it had stout legs in front, with projecting claws, but there were no legs behind, the body running out into a long and powerful tail, finished off at the end with a barbed point. This tail was coiled up under him, the end sticking up just back of his wings. 



55 pages
Published October 22nd 1986 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1963)
Original Title The Griffin and the Minor Canon
0060258160 (ISBN13: 9780060258160)
Edition Language English
Literary Awards
Lewis Carroll Shelf Award (1963)


“When a griffin shows great fondness for the sculpture of himself above the great door of the church, and equal admiration for the Minor Canon, the townspeople fear that the terrifying creature will live among them forever.”


This is another one of the great short stories found in the Unnatural Creatures short story collection. This story is one of Frank Stocktons. A popular humorist from the late 19th and early 20th century. This story has a current of humor flowing through it. Especially on the part of the griffin. He reminds me much of an old blustery English gentlemen crossed with Scrooge McDuck. He absolutely can not understand what all the fuss is about, but if you people don’t mind your P’s and Q’s he will remind you what true manners are. It is all highly entertaining, and a very fun read. 

“What could I do?” cried the young man. “If I should not bring him he would come himself and, perhaps, end by setting fire to the town with his red-hot tail.” 


This story is one of the short stories found in Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaimon. 


Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman


Frank Richard Stockton (April 5, 1834 – April 20, 1902) was an American writer and humorist, best known today for a series of innovative children’s fairy tales that were widely popular during the last decades of the 19th century.

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