Fiction: How Goat Ate the Sky
 
A couple of years ago, I started to rework the then-sequel to what is now A Promise Broken. They, uh, veered off in vastly different directions during revision, so if this makes little sense, that's why.

I think I shared this story at the time and may have shared it once more since, but I still quite like it because it was fun to work on. The setting as a whole is currently on hold as it actually requires extensive rejigging of the world-building to make it work the way I want and envision it to.

This story is actually one of the little world-building notes. What I reworked of the story before realising the extent of work that was needed included a reference to this piece, so I decided to work it out in more detail!

I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

How Goat Ate the Sky

Listen, dear one, for this was the way of it. In the days before the people chose their shape, it was that Goat decided he would graze the sky. As the people were yet young and playful, they did not notice anything amiss until the day Goat started to eat the sun, and the world was covered in darkness. It was only now that Goat had begun to eat the sun, that the people noticed he had already grazed all the other light from the sky.

Many of the people were scared and did not know what to do. Hawk and Hummingbird flew up to Goat where he was eating and tried to reason with him, but Goat ignored them and munched on. The sun flared brightly in an attempt to burn Goat and chase him away, but Goat did not seem to mind that his fur got singed.

“All the plants are dying!” cried the people. Hawk pecked at him and Hummingbird flew around him. “You are killing everyone!”

But Goat kept eating until he had gobbled up the whole sun and said, “My stomach hurts,” and curled up where he lay for he could not see anything more than any of the other people could. He rested his head between his legs and, in time, he burped out part of the sun. It was just a small part, but it was enough for some of the people to see by.

Owl join Hawk and Hummingbird up in the sky and scolded Goat for eating the Sun. Goat only complained about how much his stomach hurt. All the pieces of sun that he had eaten burned in his belly and he wished he had never eaten the sun at all! Owl suggested that Goat throw up the sun, but Goat did not much like that idea. Hawk and Goat started arguing.

As Owl tried to calm Hawk and Goat, Hummingbird flew up and down to feed the small fragment of sun twigs and whatever the bird could carry in its beak. Hummingbird hoped that the food would give the little piece of sun strength to grow big and strong, so that they would not need Goat to restore light to the world. Indeed, the little sun grew and, while Owl and Hawk and Goat did not notice, all the people who saw what Hummingbird was doing helped in any way they could. They fed the little sun until it was a brightly glowing ball that lit up the world once more.

Goat was miserable. His stomach hurt and he was hungry and everyone was angry with him for eating the sky. He did not much mind the latter, such is merely the way of Goat, but he minded that there was no more tasty food. The sun was too hot, but he had quite liked to eat the stars and the moon. Goat burped again and another small fragment of sun escaped. It stayed close to its big sister-fragment, small and hidden, for it did not wish to be eaten again.

The people scolded Goat severely. They told him that neither he nor his children nor his children’s children’s children’s nor their children could come down to eat the weeds and bushes until Goat had brought all the stars and the moon back to the sky. Goat laughed at them for after all he was Goat, but the people were true to their word. Goat’s children were chased into the sky and they could not return down to eat. And they dared not eat the fragments of sun, for the first sun still lay heavy and painful in Goat’s stomach and did not make good eating.

There were clouds in the sky still, but Goat’s children soon grew bored of clouds. They could not jump on them and they could not eat them. There was nothing for them to do in the sky. The only time anyone would acknowledge them was when they tried to eat from the ground. Then, the people would chase them back up into the sky. Goat’s children missed the ground and the trees and the people and they complained loudly.

After even Goat was tired of hearing the complaints of his children, he huffed and puffed, but the pieces of sun had grown cold in his belly and he could do nothing. He had no light to make stars with. He certainly had nothing to make a moon with. Goat told his children to be patient and play games with each other until he had found out what to do. And so Goat thought and Goat slept and there was nothing in the sky but the two suns, Goat and his children, and the clouds.

Finally, Goat had to relieve himself, and that gave him an idea. He asked his children to chase the suns away and keep them at a distance so that he could work in secrecy. And so his children did and Goat sought out the darkest corner of the sky that he could find for his work. Not even Cat or her cousins could see him there even had they been looking. All the people were chasing after Goat’s children.

And while the people were so distracted, Goat pooped out all that remained of the moon and the stars and the soon and set to work making them whole and new. He could not make them as bright as the sun had been before he’d eaten it, but he did his best. He scattered his new stars across the sky without thought for how they looked together and he had to give the moon strength to grow bigger, just as Hummingbird had fed the sun, but finally there was a new moon and Goat hung it, carefully, in the sky.

When his children chased the suns past him, the people following them gasped, tumbling over one another in shock. They clapped at the new moon and they did not even mind the stars being in such disarray. They were very impressed with Goat and allowed him and his children to come down to the ground again. Goat’s children had learned their lessons as well as they ever will, but Goat? Oh, dear one, that is another story for another time.