The very first night Gary Gargoyle stood guard, Princess Rosie slept a lot better, and had not a single bad dream. Queen Mommy and King Daddy were very much relieved that their daughter felt safer, and they came to love their good and dreadful looking Gary Gargoyle.
One morning during the first week of Gary's guard duty, he looked up at Princess Rosie with his scary little smile. "Good morning, Princess, may I have a word with you?"
Having been days since she'd heard a peep out of Gary, she nearly jumped out of her skin when his voice, quiet though it was, beckoned her.
"Good morning, Gary! It's nice to hear your voice, and I want to thank you for keeping such careful watch over me while I sleep," Princess Rosie said.
"You're welcome, Princess Rosie, it's my pleasure. Now, about the thing I need to tell you," Gary said.
"Of course. What is it?" Princess Rosie asked as she sat down on the edge of her bed, and watched Gary move slowly around to face her.
"It's about the little monsters you are so afraid of. Out of twenty three of them, only one was mean, and he was only mean because he was angry that you haven't been listening to him, but ignoring him."
"Ignoring him? I haven't been ignoring the monsters, I'm afraid of them. They…"
"Are ugly?" Gary interrupted her, and then added: "So you automatically think they're mean?"
Princess Rosie looked at the ugly, but wonderful little creature before her, and felt ashamed. She had jumped to the same conclusion about the little monsters that most of the people of Rosieland had jumped to about the gargoyles on the church. And that was wrong.
"I am sorry, if I hurt their feelings, Gary, I didn't mean to, I was just afraid. What can I do to make things better?" Princess Rosie asked.
"Hear them out. You know when you got scared that they could get in the little cracks and holes in the doors? Well, your Daddy had the royal fix-it woman fill up all the holes and cracks with caulk," Gary said.
"I know, and that made me feel a lot better," Princess Rosie said.
"Well, the little monsters go out, like Joey Owl, during twilight time, and find food, then when they try to get back in, the palace is locked up tight and they can't. They don't come into the palace to harm anyone, just to stay warm. And they rarely sleep and snuggle in your closet or under your bed, Princess Rosie, you are wrong about that. You see, the warmest place in a house is the attic because heat rises. So they hang out up there. They have a little something to eat, usually peaches or apples out of the palace orchard, and tomatoes if Queen Mommy plants them in the summer, they love tomatoes. Incidentally, the little monsters you're so scared of are vegetarians. Do you know what that means?" Gary said.
Princess Rosie shook her head. It was a big word.
"It means they only eat vegetables and fruit, sometimes a little cheese or milk. So the monsters you are so terrified of are not only not interested in harming you, but they don't even eat meat. You aren't even on their menu!" Gary said, to Princess Rosie's complete surprise.
"So they are just coming in to keep warm?"
"In the winter. In the summer they come in to keep cool, and hang out in the basement. Basements are always the coolest place in the summer, because all the heat stays in the attic." Gary explained.
"And now they can't get in?" Princess Rosie asked.
"No, and that's why Jethro is ticked off," Gary said.
"Jethro?" Princess Rosie asked.
"Jethro is the one monster who's mad, but he doesn't want to hurt you, he just wants to tell you about the problem, and let off his steam," Gary said.
"Oh my goodness! It was all a misunderstanding after all! Are they up in the attic right now?" Princess Rosie said, jumping up and going for the garage, which led up to the attic.
"Yes, I believe they are. Be very careful up there, Princess Rosie, they are tiny and you are very big. There is always the danger of you squashing little monsters when you walk if you aren't very, very careful," Gary said.
"I will be very careful," Princess Rosie said, already halfway across the garage As she looked up at the loft which was the attic, Princess Rosie stopped short, realizing she hadn't considered how to get to the loft. How would she manage to get up there, she wondered.
She looked over at Gary, who said, "Okay. I can help."
Gary wiggled his wings, loosening them up, then jumped up and flapped them. It took him three tries, because he was so heavy, and flying was such hard work for him, but finally, he made it up to the edge of the loft with Princess Rosie, who carefully climbed onto the attic ledge. As she stood there, she realized that this was the dark attic that usually frightened her. But today she was on a Princess Rosie mission, and there wasn't a moment to spare.
She reached up and found the string to pull to turn on the attic light, and Princess Rosie soon could see everything.
She looked all around for the little monsters, but saw no creatures at all. She looked down at Gary and said, "Are you sure they're hiding up here? Are you sure they aren't out getting food?"
"They're here. I just talked to them. They're probably afraid you're mad at them," Gary answered, then spoke to the seemingly empty attic: "You can come out, she's not mad at you. She was just scared, and we've had a little chat, and she has come to fix things."
Almost before he finished the sentence, there were little noises, and six or seven little monsters carefully came out from behind boxes, from under the rolled up rug at the back of the attic, and from between the wall and the old chair that King Daddy had put up here when he'd gotten his new lounge chair. When the first few little monsters were sure that Gary was telling the truth, and that they were safe, one whistled and sixteen more monsters showed their ugly, but smiling little faces to Princess Rosie.
Princess Rosie controlled herself, and kept saying in her mind, ugly wasn't bad, ugly wasn't bad, ugly wasn't bad, and it's a good thing she practiced that, because some of the little monsters were pretty gruesome looking, as you can imagine. They were, after all, monsters. But very carefully, Princess Rosie walked over to a box and sat on it, making sure there were no little monsters near her feet. Once she was seated, and they were no longer in danger of being accidentally squished, they came all the way out of their hiding places, and gathered around her on the floor.
"Wow, I'll bet you guys would be fun to play hide and seek with!" Princess Rosie smiled. The little monsters all looked at each other and grinned their hideous little grins. And Princess Rosie found that already, they didn't look so scary to her anymore. They were nodding, and saying that they'd always wanted to play with her, but she would run away and hide from them and cry because she was afraid, so they left her be. Princess Rosie thought of all the play time she'd wasted being afraid. How silly, she thought.
"Gary told me that you are having trouble finding a way into the palace, now that King Daddy has sealed up cracks that you used to use. I think I have a solution to the problem." Princess Rosie said.
The little monster nearest Princess Rosie's feet stepped forward, very bravely, because if Princess Rosie moved her foot a little to the right, she could seriously hurt the little creature.
"Princess Rosie, I am Rancey and this is my wife Betty. I have been trying to find a way to talk to you for years. Most of us understand that you were just afraid, but Jethro," Rancey looked over his shoulder at a scowling little monster, fuming at the back of the crowd, "has gotten really mad because he resents that you aren't being fair. He's been trying to lead a protest against the Royal Family for months, because we monsters are being treated unfairly because of the way we look."
Princess Rosie nodded at what Rancey was saying, and looked at Jethro. "I am sorry I made you mad, Jethro. And I'm sorry that I was unfair. You are right. I judged you by the way you look, and that was a very bad mistake. I hope you will forgive me, and that we can be friends. Please?"
Jethro cocked his head, hearing Princess Rosie, but not sure he could trust her completely. "What about the King and the Queen? They are still trying to get rid of us."
"Not anymore," Princess Rosie said. "I will speak to them at once and explain everything."
Jethro nodded, content with Princess Rosie's answer. He moved to stand beside Betty & Rancey. "Very well, then, Princess Rosie, what's your solution to our problem?" Jethro said.
Princess Rosie cleared her throat, and thought about her plan. "I have fairy friends in the Royal Woods who know how to build little doors, just your size. Joey Owl and I will go into the woods this very day, and find the door-building fairies. I will have them build a door for you right next to the main palace door, and you will be welcome guests at the palace forevermore," Princess Rosie decreed.
All the little monsters, squeaked and squealed and cheered with delight, their frightful little bodies jumping and dancing, and do-si-doing in glee.
And that very day, just as Princess Rosie had promised, fairies showed up at the palace and installed the door for the monsters. Of course, there was no construction crew with ladders, nails, wood, hinges, screws, toolboxes, trucks, or anything so silly as all that. All they required was a magic wand and some fairy dust, and POOF! The monsters had their door. And a fine, strong oak door it was, too! Complete with a golden lock and matching key, a peephole (for added security), and a gold knocker for receiving guests. Little monsters love spiced tea, and often have friends over for little tea-parties, featuring scones from their ancient, secret recipes.
Princess Rosie would be their first human tea-party guest ever! She had to be very, very careful not to crush their tiny little teacups with her big fingers. And the scones were the size of peas, but that was alright, for they tasted very fine.
And to this day, Princess Rosie goes into the attic on cold winter nights and tells stories to Rancey, Betty, Jethro and all their little friends, and has asked the fairies to 'build' them little beds to sleep in and tables and chairs for their tea parties. And that is how it happened that the Princess Rosie made friends with the little monsters and welcomed them into her Palace in Rosieland forevermore.