Pazzo whistled, and a thunderous noise echoed through the valley that he lived in. His goats came running, his favorite (pink) goat, Capra, at the lead as usual. The came and crowded around his rock, eating sweet flowers and hay and feed out of his hands and bleating until he petted them. Pazzo's big hands were gentle on the bodies of his little goats, and he smiled, buck teeth poking out over his bottom lip as he did so. Pazzo loved his goats dearly; he would do anything for them. Pazzo made a little clucking noise with his tongue and Capra separated herself from the mix, walking eagerly over to him. Pazzo milked her slowly, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and the goat sounds and smells nearby. He sang as he milked into a little pail, and when he finished he fed Capra a special little tidbit of brown sugar and stood up, stretching, taking the milk pail in to the little cottage that he lived in with his parents. His mother would use the milk for drinking and baking and to cover their breakfasts, as well as to make soap and cheese. His family lived off of the goats, using their milk and their fur. But the one thing that Pazzo's parents would dearly have loved to have tasted was goat's meat. Unfortunately, Pazzo guarded his goats zealously, even bringing them into his room at night and locking the door to make sure of their safety. He had threatened the neighbors more than once concerning his goats' safety, and his parents dared not test him.
Pazzo set the goat milk down on the plain wood table and smiled toothily at his mother, who cautiously smiled back and moved to the other side of the table, taking the goat milk and pouring it into a little basin. She wanted more of the sweet-smelling soap, which would contain not only the milk but the more expensive almond and vanilla extracts. Pazzo's mother sighed, searching her pockets. Not enough money, and no extracts.
"Pazzo," his mother said, turning to him and speaking softly, "I haven't enough money to make that soap we like. Take some of this cheese--" she said as she pulled a few little boxes of fragrant goat's milk cheese down from the shelves, "--and see if you can sell it. When you do, take the money to market and buy me a few pints of vanilla-almond extract." Pazzo nodded and left the cottage, passing his father as he did so. The man averted his eyes, as though ashamed of his strong-smelling, slightly 'touched in the head' son, and inched past. Pazzo called to his goats but his mother spoke again to him:
"Pazzo, leave the goats, will you, son? The last time they caused a little bit of havoc...and I might need more milk." Pazzo sighed and nodded.
"Capra?" he asked, pulling a leather thong out of his pocket and showing it to his mother. She smiled and nodded her head, turning back to her work. Pazzo smiled and whistled to Capra, who came running and stood patiently as Pazzo tied the lead around her neck and led her down out of the valley to the market.
The marketplace was very busy that day, and Pazzo had no trouble selling his cheese. He went to buy the almond-vanilla extracts, but after purchasing several pints he found to his consternation and delight that there was money left over. Capra bleated happily as she walked alongside her master; there was plenty for a goat and a boy to see at such a marketplace. Pazzo bought a little bit of brown sugar for he and his goat to share, but there was still money left over and so he walked up and down, looking in the tents and the shiny things. There were honey cakes and beads and books, dragonchen and felines and even some other goats. Pazzo smiled at them and clucked, watching their little faces brighten as the stared at him. But the thing that caught his eye most of all were the pocketknives. They were shiny and their handles were bright cherry red and he had just enough money to buy one; so he did. His money spent and his bag full, Pazzo turned around and headed home. Capra tagged along behind.
Once in the valley, Capra was strangely jittery, bleating in a frightened way, but other than that, the valley was strangely quiet. There were no jingling bells that his goats wore around their necks, no bleating save Capra's, and no glimpses of his sweet little goat herd, munching on the tasty grasses. Pazzo began to run, whistling frantically. His neighbors came out of their houses to stare at him and shake their heads, but he paid no attention.
"Crazy boy," one old woman remarked to her gossipy neighbor, "he's more goat than human, I'll bet." Her friend sniggered unkindly. Pazzo didn't even hear. He was busy straining his teacup ears for any sign of his goats. Finally, he heard the pitter-patter of their little hooves, and saw them run toward him, visibly shaken. Pazzo smiled, but as he counted for each one--it would normally total 12 goats in all, but now he only counted 11--a frown spread over his freckled features. He looked down at Capra, who blinked back up at him.
"What happened?" he asked the goats, but of course the only answer was a loud bleating. He resumed his walk toward home, confused.
"Mama? Papa?" he shouted as he entered his house, setting the bag on the table. "Have you seen my goats?" He sniffed, smelling something pleasant and meaty wafting through the air. Stepping into the kitchen, Pazzo gasped. Capra bleated in fear and darted back through the cottage and outside.
Upon a spit over the fire, a little goat turned, starting to roast a lovely brown. Pazzo's mother and father, who had been setting the table and readying a salad, stopped and stared at Pazzo, who was speechless (which was not uncommon; he didn't speak much).
"You...killed my goat?" Pazzo demanded finally, anger flashing in his eyes. "You want to eat her? What did she ever do to you? Only clothe you and give you sweet milk..." Pazzo broke off, angry tears threatening to boil over.
"Pazzo--" his mother began, but Pazzo raced into the other room and dug through the bag until he found his shiny new pocketknife.
"Look!" he shouted as he entered the kitchen again. "I got your vanilla...I got your almond...and I got something else! Revenge for my sweet Matilda!" For that was the goat he had not counted. He rushed at his mother and stabbed her quickly; as she fell he stabbed his father, then ran out of the house, leaving them to bleed to death.
Pazzo sat on a rock, his head in his hands, weeping, not for what he had done, but for the goat that would taste so good for dinner, and that he would not eat; instead, he would bury her. And at sunset, he did, laying her grave with a wreath of sweet blossoms and scattering brown sugar across the freshly turned soil. He placed a little granite tombstone at the head of the grave. It read, Sweet Matilda: Beloved forever and always in our hearts.
And then he buried his parents, in a single, shallow grave. For one moment he regretted what he'd done, to his sweet, simple mother and the father who had barely known him, hadn't wanted to, and then he remembered his anger and shoveled the rocky dirt over them, placing a little soap bar at the head of the grave for a tombstone.
Then Pazzo left. He gathered the extracts, bottled the milk, bagged the sugar, and pocketed his knife; he also packed whatever he thought he would need, living alone in the wilderness, which was everything but the house and the bedframes. He led his goats up a small mountain, where he had once discovered a cave and a grassy clearing with a little stream. There he believed they would live in peace and harmony, away from the carnivores (he of course was a vegetarian) and the mean people that hoped to harm his goats. And for awhile they did. He lived as he had done before the death of Matilda and his parents, milking the goats and making soap, cheese and other things, as well as shaving them and using the fur to make his clothing, blankets, and rugs. The extra things he had the wits enough to sell at market, but he never left his goats at home again. They followed him wherever he went.
One day, Pazzo was busy shaving his goats, all except Capra, who was excluded from the embarrassing experience of being naked because of her special status and lovely 'pink' coat. He needed a new pair of pants, because the old pair had grown raggedy with use. All of a sudden, his goats began to scream and cry, and ran around in circles and finally into the cave. Alarmed, Pazzo gathered the fur into a basket and retreated into his cave, crouched at the entrance, watching. He saw a large dragon, blue in color, land in the clearing and settle its wings, then lay down. A tall man dressed in browns and blacks with black hair and a friendly smile slid off of his dragon's back and walked over to where Pazzo was hiding. Pazzo clutched his knife fiercely and stepped out into the open. The man grinned even wider and laughed.
"Whoa, there, Pazzo. I'm a friend." Pazzo lowered the knife, frowning in mistrust.
"Who are you and how do you know my name and why are you here?" he blurted out, then gasped for breath. The man stepped forward and extended his hand.
"I'm K'dron, blue-rider of Oroth and he told me your name, and I'm here because you've been Found." Pazzo smiled slowly, and shook K'dron's hand.
"I wouldn't lie to you. Now hurry, hop onto Oroth's back, because you're expected at the Rave clutch within three days or less." Pazzo whistled and all twelve goats came out of the cave, Capra in the lead.
"They must come too, or I don't come at all," Pazzo said firmly. K'dron scratched his head and chuckled.
"That creates a problem. Do you have a large blanket or something that we could put them into, and Oroth could carry them?" Pazzo nodded. He had just the thing: a strong, big blanket that all the goats were fond of piling onto that he knew they could all fit in. He rushed to get it, and soon the goats were bagged. All except Capra, who rode in Pazzo's lap. Pazzo was on his way to the Rave clutch!!
Excerpts from Hatching:
An oblong, milky white egg rolled onto its side and opened up to reveal the strangest hatchling yet. Instead of creeling, the white and brown male lifted his muzzle and let off a mixture between a baa and a howl. Even stranger was the stubbed ends of his silver horns. They looked more like goat horns then anything that belonged on a dragon! Mystic raised a confused brow as the newly hatched dragon bounded past the onlookers and settled himself by a nice crop of lush, green grass.
"Baith! You'll help me protect my goats, won't you?" Pazzo grinned foolishly, his large, front teeth hanging out over his lower lip. Baith looked up from his pleasant grazing and replied with another odd baa.
"Ooh! He brought dinner." Magika spoke while eyeing the conglomerate of goats that followed Pazzo over to the goat/dragon's side.
"Don't touch the goats." Mystic warned under her breath, remember the tale the dragon rider had told her upon bringing Pazzo to the Warren.
"Apparently he killed his parents for trying to eat one of his goats." Aaron supplied. He was equally edgy around the queer boy.
"Don't touch the goats." Mystic said again, a undertone of urgent pleading in her voice.
Pazzo's sheep(ish?) Baith (male)
breath weapons: white fyre, beast speaker - the ability to speak to any animal and understand. This dragon will only eat grass! ~_^ Go figure.