Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Goat

This is a story my friend Jade and I co-wrote a while ago. I started writing something today, but I just got home from a trip and I'm tired, and that story will take longer than I want to stay up for. So yeah, here's this.

I am loath to part with the body and spirit of my beloved grandfather. Tragically, I am forced to choose between him and my dear, dear husband. You see, my grandfather is the spirit of a man trapped in the body of a goat. When he was a young lad, my grandfather was apprenticed to a great Shaman. It was a great honor, for the Shaman was the most powerful within a month’s travelling by foot, or even by ox-cart, or at least so my grandfather has told me. My grandfather, Olaf [Oo-lahf], studied hard and gained must of his master’s knowledge. He loved the life set out for him. However, as he grew into a young man, he began to love something else even more—a beautiful young woman of his village, Ingelill. He asked for her hand in marriage, and when she agreed, asked the Shaman for his blessing.

But the Shaman refused, saying that he would be a fool to give up the power he could have for a woman. As much as it pained him to defy his master, Olaf loved Ingelill, and they were married. For a short time they lived in marital bliss, and a son was born to them.

Soon after their son’s birth, the Shaman found their happy little home. In his fury, he turned Olaf into a goat. Ingelill begged him to restore her husband, but to no avail, and the Shaman left without a word.

But the situation was not as dire as it first seemed. Olaf retained his powers of speech, and the family lived happily for many years. Olaf gave his small son goatty back rides and watched as he grew into a man. Eventually, his son found a wife of his own, and they soon had a young daughter.

But then, tragedy struck. Olaf’s son’s beautiful bride was struck by lightning, and passed away. In his grief, her husband stopped eating, and he too was soon lost forever from this world. Their daughter, or rather, I, was raised by Olaf and Ingelill. Despite his… unusual form, I have always loved Olaf as a father.

Eventually, I met and fell in love with an American man. Olaf disapproved, as my soon-to-be husband had no knowledge of our language or culture, and though he had initially had nothing against the man, he thought he was unworthy of me and was corrupting me away from my family. But I loved and still love my dear Bob, and we eloped.

When my grandfather heard, he was furious. He ran around the house bleating in rage, until he suddenly keeled over.

My grandmother was distraught. She could not bear to part with him, so she brought him to a taxidermist. As an apprentice Shaman, my grandfather had learned enough that his spirit was able to remain with him. My grandmother kept him by her side for the rest of her life.

Tragically, she too soon passed away. My grandfather was passed on to me. I brought him into my home and made a place for him next to the umbrella stand. I was happy to have the only remaining member of my family, the grandfather I had loved so much, with me again. Although my grandfather had become quieter since his death, his mere presence was a comfort.

But soon, odd things began to happen. First, my husband’s clothes began to disintegrate. Then, the writing in his important books and papers would disappear. At first, we didn’t understand what was happening. But when I spoke of my worries to my grandfather, a familiar chuckle emerged from his now-silent throat. I realized that he was causing the disturbances.

If it had only been these small nuisances, I could have tolerated it—after all, he is my family. But one day, my husband felt an odd pull in the night. He was dragged from his bed. The next morning I found him unconscious at the base of the stairs with a broken leg and a fractured wrist. He gave me an ultimatum: my grandfather goes, or he does.

It will be my grandfather that goes. I hope to find him a loving family who will respect him as the great man he is. He is a kind, friendly man, and is unlikely to cause harm to any but the man he considers to have stolen me away. I mean to list him for sale on ebay.

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