Writing Assignment: Use the style of Rudyard Kipling and your own creativity to write your own Just So Story about how something strange came to be.
How the Goat got Her Beard
Once, long before man had knowledge of livestock and fowl and beasts, the goat lived wild and free. She pranced on dark gray mountains, danced over the greenest fields, and ate wherever she wanted. Now my dear friends, this was before man had knowledge of livestock, fowl, and beasts. A man came by-and-by to a green grassy meadow that lay before a great gray mountain with a forest beyond and decided to settle there. He built a small hut and planted a garden. He dug a canal to have fresh water from the mountain stream and he settled into life.
By-and-by my dear friends, Goat came to the green grassy meadow and saw Man’s hut and garden and canal. She said to herself “Here lies something new and unexpected. I must see what bountiful goodness I may reap.” She clip clopped her way over toward the hut and began to nibble upon the sweet grass that was used to build the roof. Lucky for her Man was away from his hut and he did not see her. If he had known of such things, he would have made guards but this was before Man had knowledge of livestock, fowl, and beasts. She made quick work of the roof eating nearly half of it away when suddenly she spotted Man’s garden. “What a gracious stroke of luck the Creator has sent to me today!” She exclaimed, “I shall not be hungry for much longer.” The she skipped over to investigate the beautiful vegetables, fruit and other delights Man’s garden had to offer. She saw corn and quickly ate it up (although she much preferred the leaves to the rest), she saw melons and broke them open to eat. She ate Man’s peas, squash, tomatoes, and berries. Oh, the berries. She loved the berries my dear friends.
Then she suddenly heard a sound as she approached the apples. It was Man! She quickly dashed off as fast as her hooves could carry her. Man returned to find his hard work dashed and he was sorely unpleased. The damage to his roof, the garden torn to shreds. It was such a mess that, thought man, only a great beast could have done this horrible, mighty work of evil. Before Man had knowledge of livestock and fowl and beasts, he did not know that a mere goat could cause such chaos.
Man tried building a fence but Goat just climbed it. He tried planting thorns and prickers but Goat just loved the new addition to the crop. After many hard laborious tries he was at the very pinnacle of his intellect.
Up till now Man had never seen her. She always happened to come by when he was away gathering supplies, or visiting his family, because my dear friends, Man had a mother and a father just like you. But on his last trip he told his parents of the great beast who kept mutilating his stores. They asked for a description and he was ashamed to say he had never seen it. But on this occasion, he resolved to not rest until he had seen this great beast. He took extra provisions and went on his way. He made a hidden place not far from his hut and there Man stayed. He stayed there for 3 whole days and whole nights.
On the fourth day Man was awakened by a great bleating and braying. It was Goat and she had come to forage off of Man’s work. Man could not believe his eyes. This was the creature that had destroyed his toil and labor? This tiny animal? Goat came prancing in and started to quickly work on the garden. She found everything to her liking and man was amazed. This animal would eat anything! She loved the fruit and vegetables but mostly the stalks and leaves. As he watched her Man grew increasingly angry and resolved to catch this beast and make her pay for her crimes. He sprang from his place of concealment but he was not fast enough. She sprang nimbly out of the way. He tried again and again but Goat was too fast, too nimble, and too quick.
Finally, Man had no strength in his body. He could chase Goat no more. Goat ran nimbly up the great gray mountain as free as the wind. Man surveyed the results of his labors. His garden was just as ruined as before he tried to catch Goat. He made up his mind then that he would not rest till he had beaten Goat. He would set a trap. He gathered all the most luscious, delectable, juicy, and best fruits and plants from his garden. He put them away where Goat could not find them. He put them in his hiding place where they would be cool and safe. He then set to work repairing and strengthening his home. He would not be caught unaware again. He then repaired the fence around his garden. He replanted the destroyed crops, tilled the weeds, and set his trap. He set up vines and ropes in a pattern so as when Goat went to the middle of the garden, she would be all tangled. It had to work! No more would Man be plagued by Goat!
Unbeknownst to Man, Goat had made up her mind to never return to the green grassy meadow that lay before the great gray mountain. She could find just enough food on her mountain. The human’s garden was tempting but she did not want to be caught. She stayed away so long that Man almost thought she was gone for good.
But, by-and-by more goats came to the mountain and Goat was getting overcrowded. She was also expecting kids so she really needed better food then just the mountain greenery. Goat decided to test the garden of Man once more. She trotted down carefully keeping watch for the man. Man saw her coming and hid quickly. He would capture her this time.
Sure enough, when Goat went into the garden, she went straight for the only good plants left. The Grapes. The others he had harvested for him and his family. She did not notice that as she walked man was tightening the grapevines and hidden ropes around her as she passed them. When she reached the grapes, Man pulled the trap tight and Goat was caught. She struggled. She fought, bleated, brayed and kicked but it was no use. She could not get free. Man walked close to Goat. He saw that she was expecting kids. He was much in the mind to keep her and her kids. She would make a valuable addition to his possessions.
“What do you want me for?” Goat asked Man, “Do you wish to eat me?”
“Not in the least, I intend to make you, my possession.”
“Will you hurt me or my kids? I fear for their safety most of all.” She replied.
“I shall not, your kids will be safe here with me and you can eat all the weeds and harmful plants in my garden.” What are you called, strange animal?” He asked.
“I am called Goat; I have always been Goat.”
He thought a moment and he knew that goat would need to be changed in ways to make her easier to capture and hold. He gathered some soft hay and grass, molded some putty out of mud and sap and stuck this beard-of-sorts to her chin.
“What are you doing to me?!” She exclaimed. “I don’t want that terrible stuff on me!”
“I am making you easier to trap.” Man said.
He then found two curved sticks of hard durable wood and fastened horns from them. That way, now he could grasp her by the beard or horns if need be.
In time the sticks and grass melded to Goat and became a part of her. When she had new kids, they were born with horns and beards. This, my dear friends, is how the Goat got her Beard and Horns.