Sunday, January 8, 2012

Excerpt

 It was something in her eyes… Resentment, bitterness, pride, fear, pain… As if she had irreversibly locked the tumbler to her soul, she stood there: staring scornfully. Not caring about anything anymore. I was looking at the forsaken shape of a white goat, that chilly winter day. The sky was blanketed with gray clouds that looked like damp wool, and a soft mist hung in the mountains. I had come to this dilapidated farm to be shown what I was told to be a Saanen doe, and it appeared that I was looking at her. Her fur coat was a shaggy, three inches long, but even that couldn’t hide her bones jutting sharply from her gaunt hide. To my sorrow, I learned that this destitute creature was heavily pregnant and due to kid in less than two months. She looked hardly capable of surviving, let alone being pregnant. Her eight month old buckling came trotting up to her and began nursing eagerly. Poor girl, I thought, she’s practically being eaten alive as this buckling, and the kids in her womb steal her preciously scarce nutrients.

My heart went out to this horridly ugly excuse for a goat, and I gently reached out to stroke her. She looked at my outstretched hand and hurriedly moved out of my reach. Despite her impoverished condition, her eyes still glowed with feeling. I saw hatred smoldering like embers in her expressive face. Though she stood in a quagmire of filth and was disgraceful to look at, she stood with her head held high. Like a princess locked in a concentration camp, she knew in her heart that she was more than her prison mates. Trying to not let my emotions get the better of me, I rationalized buying such a creature. It was possible that she could die during labor, due to her critical state. Or she might not be a good milker, which is what I was looking to buy. I was on the hunt for a purebred, preferably registered milking goat, and here I was staring at a neglect case. This goat was by no means purebred, either. She had the build and look of a Saanen, but her ears were a dead giveaway to her other lineage: They were only one inch long. Those ridiculous looking ears screamed La Mancha blood, so I could only presume she was a Saanen/ La Mancha cross.

But her eyes haunted me… Where had I seen something like that before? As if groping for a forgotten history, my mind searched for an answer to this riddle.

Meanwhile, the owner watched my silence and took it for hesitance in buying her. He reassured me that it didn’t matter if I bought her or not. If I didn’t, his hunting buddy would come over the next day and just turn her into sausage. It didn’t matter to him; it was just a goat.

I looked at the wretched creature before me, again, and I thought about the $100 in my pocket. She was too proud, it seemed to me, to be turned into sausage. Not to mention her unborn kids would be killed as well. I sighed, and handed over one hundred dollars. Not only did I want to see what was behind her layer of filth, but something in me also wanted -- or maybe needed -- to figure out where I had seen such a haunted look before. Why did her eyes seem like such a familiar memory in the back of my mind?

This small blurb is from something I've been working on over the past week. Just thought I'd share, and ask y'all for some feedback. :)

5 comments:

Tayet Silverspoon said...

WOW. You're such a great writer! I think it's absouloutly wonderful!

Miranda said...

I think it's excellent! You are a great writer! The only thing I didn't quite understand was what you meant by "the tumbler to her soul."...? I love the thing about the princess. I think it creates a fantastic image. One other very minor thing... might it be good to put an "also" in after the "but" in "Not only did I want to see what was behind her layer of filth, but something in me wanted, or maybe needed, to figure out where I had seen such a haunted look before."?

Anyway you probably didn't actually want that feedback... but never mind :) feel completely free to ignore it!
M.
p.s. you know this explains a lot about why you didn't sell Heidi!

Autumn said...

;u;

I was so wrapped up in it I was sad to see this excerpt end! Eternal happy faces this is so awesome! :D :D

Okay, in writer terms, this had pretty awesome flow to it. The descriptions are excellent- I can vividly picture what you described. This topic is something you obviously know and care about, which is very important in writing.

Goat Song said...

Thank you both for the input!

Miranda, that was exactly the sort of feedback I needed! When I type, I type like a madwoman and words just start tumbling out helter skelter. So I often times need another person to censor what I've written. LOL. I will go back and make those changes you pointed out.

A "tumbler" is the actual part that you would lock with a key. Like the metal part on a door that you stick a key into. In that phrase, I was trying to give an image of the her soul being locked... Something in her caused a key to be turned irrevocably...

And yes, this is Heidi's story. Part of it. :) I have almost five chapters more of this. It's a memoir of how Heidi came to me, and I found myself mirrored in the life of a neglected goat. I changed her, and she changed me. Sappy, perhaps, but true. ;)

Goat Song said...

Autumn, you and I posted at the same time! LOL. Thank you for your encouraging words. :) Yes, this is a subject very close to my heart and I've been mulling over these words for almost a year now. They're just now being put on paper.