The Mountain Goat

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is for those who have true love for nature. It will certainly show you some "boring" animals from a totally different side!

Submitted: April 29, 2017

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Submitted: April 29, 2017





This happened in the early morning. The sun was about to rise, and I could barely move my legs after the whole night’s hunt. A corpse of a baby roe felt like a bag of lead. The only thought that kept me going was the thought of my small hut, warm blanket, and a bowl of hot roe soup. My gun had only one bullet left, and I tied it to my back as I had a habit of accidentally pressing the trigger from time to time.

I exited the copse and saw the hillside I always saw the way home. It had always been a sign that my hut was close enough. Normally I would get to this point long after the sunrise, but today I was not as good at shooting as I usually was, so my bullets finished up long before expected. Because of that, now I saw not the hillside with grass being moved around by the wind, rustling, filled with sunlight, blinding me, but quiet dark green vegetation, completely still and lifeless.

Right then it happened. As I stood still, enjoying the look of sleeping nature, I felt a small waft of wind. The sky suddenly grew bright red, disconcombulting me for a brief moment. The change in the sight was huge. The grass seemed blue, then emerald, then red, and then emerald again. The trees also completely changed their coloring. I could see the crimson edge of the sun. I perfectly knew it was just a star, like millions of other stars in the universe, but at the moment it seemed the most powerful thing the world. I felt like an unimportant, ugly bacteria in front of a graceful phoenix. It seemed like the whole world woke in that short, such a short moment.

When my eyes adapted to the new picture of the nature, I saw the creature standing at the very top of the hill. At first I seriously thought this was the god of these mountains, and I would vaporise by just looking at it. Soon I understood it was just a mountain goat. However, ‘just’ was not a very good word to describe it. The goat was definitely the most graceful, powerful, and beautiful animal I ever could imagine in my short and meaningless life. Its fur glowed like the Golden Fleece itself. They reflected all the power of the sun beams, making me feel like I look at the sun’s child. Its horns were unbelievably elegant. The eyes were the most fascinating thing about this being. They glowed with fire of power and calmness. He radiated a special force - everything around me seemed to look just at the goat, nothing else. I felt a whole sea of emotions boiling inside. Mexican and spanish music started playing in head. I wasn't sure if I wanted to smile, cry, or throw up.

Suddenly, I saw a shadow on the ground. I didn’t pay any attention to it, I couldn’t take in anything except for the graceful silhouette of the goat. I was greatly amazed that when the goat raised its head - I couldn’t apprehend, how could such an animal pay attention to any external stimuluses. However, my eyes still followed the look of the mountain goat. Only then I realised how bad the situation was. A huge golden eagle was circling rather low in the sky. On the background of the scarlet clouds, its black wings looked like the death personification. A sense of horrible dread passed through me. I completely forgot about the gun of my back, I didn’t care. My legs grew weaker and weaker at the sight of those huge dark black wings, long, sharp, deadly claws, and hungry, evil eyes.

The goat stayed as calm as ever. I wanted to shout, “Run! Save your life! You must live!” But I couldn’t. I fell. Meanwhile, the eagle stroke. I could see the goat fall on his side, blood shooting from its neck with horrible fountains.Yet, I understood this was my imagination. The real goat still stood on the top of the hill, looking proudly and calmly at its foe. The predator came down. I couldn’t realise what happened the next seconds. The only thing I remember was a terrible loud shriek, and the sight of the eagle rolling in the ground down the hill. I suddenly remembered I had a gun and grabbed it.

When I switched back to the sight of the battle, the golden eagle was back to the air, again circling around the top of the hill. The goat charged down the slope. I didn’t dare describe this charge using words - the only word that somehow depicted its nature was ‘godly’. I could hear the sound - it was similar to a quite graceful horse gallop, but it felt much better to hear. I could never forget this moment of my life ever after. The mountain goat indeed seemed as if all the gods of all the religions united in one creature. The golden eagle felt like all possible evil spirits, demons, and devils. And all those devils flied towards the goat with a lightening speed.

The goat keeped its charge same. It didn’t change speed, technique, sound. It felt like the eagle was as unimportant as a grasshopper for this creature. I knew everything would be okay, I knew nothing could be wrong with this creature, I knew it owned its own destiny, the predator’s destiny, and every other destiny on the Earth, but I couldn’t do anything with instincts. I always had an instinct of helping other. I shot. Randomly.

The sound of my shot echoed through the hills. I immediately understood my mistake. The world, so natural before, became much tenser. I felt everything staring at me with anger and blame - the grass, the trees, the sun, the sky. Even the goat. It stopped its charge at once, not needing a long distance to continuously stop, just freezing in place. I caught the intent look of its eyes, which I found out were small and bright orange, like autumn trees. I felt the mood of this season perfectly matched the look in the creature’s eyes - unlimited sadness, that seemed to not have enough space in the goat’s head and pour out with huge streams. Huge, horrible guilt washed through my body. I didn’t notice the golden eagle neither shrieking with a sound, that would’ve cut though my body like an axe, nor flying away towards the snow-covered mountains, I didn’t care. The only thing I cared about at the moment was that I made the goat unhappy, I worried it, I invaded its life. I knew it wasn’t all correct, but I felt like a barbarian.

Suddenly, the goat raised its right front leg. Then it bowed. I wasn’t misunderstanding - it lowered its head. I still could see its eyes, but except for the sadness I could read another feeling in them - thankfulness. I also bowed. I could swear I had seen a small wise smile on its face, like the one of an old man, whose grandson just drew a stickman and is happily jumping around. Then it took of. The sun was already halfway above the horizon, and the running goat seemed black in front of it. Only then I noticed that its way of running wasn’t like a godly powerful charge anymore, it was just a quiet, calm, and graceful trot. Just like an angel’s.


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