10_alamoud the goat, crop1



          Little Pashmina chased her only playmate, the beloved baby goat Alamoud, through the ruins of her stone village beside Lake Kansaoya.  When she cornered him, Alamoud made a capricious hop and then charged to butt her gently.  Pashmina reached down and held up Alamoud’s foreleg.  Alamoud put his tongue out the side of his mouth and blew, making the wet vibrating sound that made Pashmina laugh.  Pashmina mimicked Alamoud and Alamoud was taken aback.

       Pashmina then heard the call of her mother, Mazdayasna.  Pashmina looked up to the hills and to the cave in which she lived all alone with her mother.  Her mother wove sweaters from goat hair for the distant followers of Tourism.  Her mother had told Pashmina mysteriously that her father was the Lake. 

       Mazdayasna called again and waved her arm to Pashmina and then she started down the goat trail.

       Pashmina asked Alamoud, “What can this be, God Willing?”  But Alamoud stood absolutely still, looking past her and then trembling.  A great shadow fell over Pashmina.  Pashmina turned around to see an enormous man with many scars on his face and arms.

       “Are you God?” she asked breathlessly.

       “I am Saoshyant,” he smiled, “You are Pashmina?”


       “Where is… your mother?”

       “She comes, “ pointed Pashmina.

       Alamoud hid behind Pashmina and bleated.

       When Mazdayasna arrived she was holding some sweaters.  She stood before Saoshyant for many breaths.  Suddenly Saoshyant embraced her mightily.  Mazdayasna moaned and began to cry.  Pashmina was alarmed.

       “Punish me and not my mother!” cried Pashmina.  Alamoud bleated in fear.

       Saoshyant and Mazdayasna both looked upon Pashmina with tears in their eyes.  Suddenly Saoshyant burst into laughter.  He released Mazdayasna and in one stride he knelt down and embraced Pashmina mightily.

       Alamoud bleated and trembled but still he charged at the great hands of Saoshyant and butted.

       “Well!” boomed Saoshyant.  “I need more warriors like you, little one.”

       Saoshyant released Pashmina and arose and turned to Mazdayasna, “And I need more sweaters to trade for food and ammunition for my men, oh Beloved.”

       Mazdayasna bowed her head, “I am sorry.  I waste nothing.”

       “I know.  I know.” And Saoshyant embraced Mazdayasna again, “We will be satisfied with what God provides us.”

       Mazdayasna whispered, “God Willing, you will have victory and you will return to stay with us forever.  And then it will be safe to tell Pashmina.”

       Saoshyant turned away holding the sweaters in one hand, and scooped up Alamoud in the other powerful hand and while holding Alamoud by all four legs upon his massive shoulder he strode away.

       Pashmina cried out after him and was running behind him, “Where are you taking Alamoud?”

       “To Heaven, Pashmina.  It is God’s Will.”

            Her mother called to Pashmina to come back.  Alamoud was bleating in terror.  Pashmina burst into tears, “Take me instead, God.  Take me instead!  Do not take my friend!  Do not take Alamoud from us!”

       Saoshyant’s stride began to lessen.  Pashmina caught up to him and she fell upon the ground groveling, “Oh, merciful God Saoshyant!  Release my friend!  Release Alamoud”.

       Saoshyant looked down upon Pashmina.  The sand was devouring her tears.  With a sigh, he lowered Alamoud to the ground and released him.  Alamoud ran to Pashmina and hid his head next to hers.

       “Brave Pashmina and noble Alamoud, you are my Window unto Heaven itself.”  






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