Once, there was a goat and a sheep who would jump down from heaven to drink from fluffy white clouds where the water was crystal clear.
One day, the weather was so fine that the animals could see all the way down to Earth.
“Doesn’t it look wonderful?” said the sheep, wagging her tail. “The grass is as green as the finest jade, and the sea sparkles like sapphires. I bet the water is sweeter than honey.”
“It’s a long way down,” said the goat, peering down a silver ladder.
Nightfall came, and the sheep still wanted to go. She lowered her hoof onto the first rung.
“I’ve heard that some humans are cruel to animals,” said the goat.
“I’ve heard they’re all kind,” said the sheep. “Why would they hurt us?”
The goat wasn’t sure, so he followed her. Down, down, they went. The silver ladder led to a long golden chain, which was great fun to twist and twirl in.
“Bah!” cried the sheep.”I’m stuck!”
Some humans heard her. They untangled her, and the goat, and tied them in a shed.
“Bleh,” said the goat. “I told you.”
From that day, the animals had lots of lovely things to eat and drink. Both became fat.
But the goat said, “Bleh, bleh. I want to go back.”
“Why?” bleated the sheep.
Then one day, they heard a new sound – a raspy, grating swish of knives being sharpened on stones. They smelled fire. “Bleh, bleh, bleh!” said the goat. “See what is happening? This is all because of you!”
The sheep didn’t say a word. She felt so sad she hadn’t listened to the goat.
And to this day, goats make lots of noise because they’re blaming sheep for luring them away from heaven.
This tale is loosely based on an ancient Naxi tribe legend.
|< Prev||Next >|