When my mother inexplicably changed into a goat one Christmas, everything changed.
It’s still etched on my memory like it was yesterday. it all happened just a few days before Christmas Eve.
My mother and father, always at each others throats, had just left for a shopping trip. I could still see the angry gesticulations towards each other as they turned the bend. This would be the last time I would see my mother in human form.
When father returned he was quite bloody, after an unexpected encounter with an aggressive, large rabbit near the mall. He sat me down and sadly explained how a man in a glowing cloak had stood before their car on the drive home. Their path blocked, mother had abruptly stepped out to chastise the man. Before she could utter a word the old man lifted a finger and sent forth a bold of lightning. Instantly mother had transformed into a goat!
It had taken my father two days to seek the courage to return home to the strangest Christmas Day I would ever know. I promised not to tell our tale of her misfortune, as most would find it unbelievable. Should anyone ask, father had said, mother was on an extended trip to Maine so that she might learn the lobster trade.
He explained how the old man explained the only way to reverse mother’s goatish fate was to seek out a grizzly bear in a deeply wooded forest, just a few hours from our house. The bear, in exchange for a Steelers cap, would provide a magic potion to reverse the spell.
Apparently though this quest could only be attempted by the young and innocent of heart. My father felt helpless, and I consoled him as best I could. Who on earth would be able to take on such a mission?
Everything came together in a flash! How could I be so stupid? Why, I had a Steelers cap hanging in my room! It was I who was young and innocent! I would save my mother, and thus prove myself to my father, who had always considered me a no good loser who wouldn’t leave home.
This was no doubt a difficult mission. It was probably one of the coldest winters in years. My father told me to pack light. This way I would not be slowed down as I ventured deeper into the forest. I would be kept warm with a special amulet provided by the old man to my father. Ingenuously, disguised as a Chick-Fil-A coupon for free fries. nobody would think to steal such an innocuous object.
The next morning I kissed mother goodbye on her goaty lips, and headed off with my father towards the adventure of a lifetime. After a stoic goodbye and a handshake, I left father and entered the darkened woods.
I’ve tried to keep a diary of my journeys since, but the amulet appears is losing its power. I can barely feel my hands and I think I’ve lost a few toes. Thankfully I feel my quest nears its end though. As I write I can hear some large creature approaching. Hold tight mother, help is on the way!