The Legend of the Screaming Goat
A Caves & Cliffs Story
Lee came from a family of story tellers. They took any chance they could get – gathered around the dinner table, huddling around a roaring fire, or just passing the time during a long trip. All the stories had some truth to them, but after being passed down from generation to generation, it was only natural for some details to be lost and others embellished. But one story never changed.
Several centuries ago, one of Lee’s ancestors had been trekking across a mountain ridge. Lost and hungry, the ancestor was ready to give up as the sun started to set. All of a sudden, a sound rang out across the snowy peaks. The piercing scream was like a second wind for the ancestor, who used the last of their energy to climb to the top. Even if it was the last thing they saw, they needed to find the source.
It was a goat.
The majestic beast lifted its head to the skies and let out another guttural scream. The ancestor was so entranced that they didn’t notice the goat taking charge until it was too late. The goat rammed its mighty head into the ancestor, causing them to fly off the mountain. As the ancestor fell, they too let out a scream. But that scream wasn’t their own, it sounded just like the goat’s.
The legend stated that the ancestor awoke at sunrise in a flower biome with a full health bar and an inventory filled with leather armor. Lee didn’t know how much of that part was true, but for centuries the family had taught their children that screaming goats brought good fortune. This was the origin of the family business, who would go forth to craft the finest leather armor in the entire Overworld.
Decades passed without a screaming goat sighting, which some people believed to be the reason that the family business had started to wane. Lee was finally old enough to set out on their own adventure, and they only had one goal in mind. Find a screaming goat to bring the business back on track.
On the day of their solo adventure, Lee woke up early. Nervous but not in a particularly bad way, they made sure their inventory was full of anything that a long, arduous trip would require. Plenty of food, extra tools, a new compass, a spyglass, a map that led back home, and Lee’s trusted bucket. You never know when you need a bucket, especially when exploring perilous heights.
Lee walked for what felt like hours but then finally, a mountain top came into view. Looking up, Lee could hear different sounds coming from the towering cliff but none that resembled a scream. However, a familiar hissing sound was growing louder and louder, which urged Lee to start climbing. Soon enough, snow started to fall and Lee could feel the cold in their bones. Before the sun set, Lee dug a shelter into the side of the mountain to keep hostiles out. They made sure to add a window for peeking (and natural light) and an automatic iron door for easy access (and extra flair).
Lee continued to explore the mountain range for a few days. Next to the shelter, they set up camp, putting out a crafting table, a few cauldrons, and a composter. They even built a little perch where they could watch over the mountain in peace. The first goat that Lee spotted took their breath away. Like a cloud with legs. Legs that moved much faster than expected, which was duly noted by Lee.
Through their spyglass, Lee watched as goats playfully roamed the ridge. Jumping up and down, climbing impossibly steep angles, and ramming other mobs with glee. Lee noted that everyone was a target except for shulkers and other goats. They really were fascinating creatures to study. As time passed, Lee started observing all the mobs that roamed the mountain. Cows lumbered. Zombies stalked. Baby zombies stalked adorably. Lee recorded it all.
When Lee’s food inventory started running low, they ventured out and managed to milk a goat. Even though Lee was happy for the milk that filled their bucket, they couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed when the goat didn’t so much as bleat. But the milk helped craft an exceptional cake, so there was no reason to complain.
After a few more days, Lee’s inventory was almost depleted, and it was getting very difficult to ignore the homesickness that was setting in. It was time to return home. Lee wasn’t empty handed, there were plenty of stories to tell. Like the goat that had rammed a pig clear off the mountain. Lee would never forget it, like a pink balloon soaring through the sky. Oinking through the air. Majestic.
Cheered by the memory, Lee prepared to leave as soon as the sun rose. What items could be left behind? The crafting table might help a future traveler and there was no reason to bring the cauldrons that had stood empty for the past couple of days. As Lee climbed into bed, snow started to fall.
The next morning, Lee heard a strange sound. They jumped out of bed and rushed outside, only to be med by an entire herd of goats. Although the creatures hadn’t posed a threat before, seeing them in such a big group brought chills down Lee’s spine. Looking around for an escape route, Lee noticed that the cauldrons had filled with snow. Maybe a little friendly snowball fight would distract the herd and allow Lee to get off the mountain unscathed and with a great story to boot!
Thinking fast, Lee got their bucket out and filled it with the cauldron’s contents. In their rush, they almost didn’t notice that the bucket wasn’t filled with regular snow. It was powder snow! Lee wasn’t sure how powder snow worked, but the goats were closing in and there was no time to think. Taking a chance, Lee tossed it at the goats before refilling it and repeating the process. Lee backed away when there was a small wall of powder snow that seemed to act as a wall. The goats did not sound pleased. They avoided it and before long, they got bored and started to wander in a different direction. As Lee breathed a sigh of relief, one goat turned and started running back.
It ran towards the powder snow wall and before Lee could react, the goat leapt into the air and jumped right over to their side. Lee froze. Their eyes locked. Snow started to fall.
The goat let out a scream.
Lee screamed back.
They barely had time to register that the sound that came from their mouth wasn’t their own. Just like the legend had foretold, the goat’s scream echoed from Lee as the goat rammed them straight into the powder snow.
Lee felt like they were in an icy fog and felt a cold like no other take hold of their body. They could feel the damage as they stood frozen, but finally started to move out of the snow slowly when they heard the goats running away. Lee searched their inventory for something warm but only found a pair of leather boots. They would have to do. Lee pulled them on and took a step, bracing themselves to sink into the cold once more. But Lee did not sink, this time they remained on top of the powder snow. Letting out a joyous scream, this time in their own voice, Lee did a little dance on top of the powder snow.
Lee hopped down, filled their bucket with powder snow and headed back home. The journey seemed to fly by, with Lee rehearsing the story of the screaming goat and the powder snow over and over in their head.
That evening, everybody gathered around the fire to welcome Lee back home. They told their tale, but realized that the screaming goat was only part of a bigger picture. As Lee started to describe their journey, all the other goats and mobs that they had studied seemed to take center stage. They had loved watching them through the spyglass, taking notes on their different quirks and routines.
In the following months, the family reinvented their leather armor business thanks to the powder snow. Lee found themself drawn in a different direction and made time for more adventures, studying mobs in different biomes all over the Overworld. Over time, Lee filled countless books with their observations, thoughts, and stories. Maybe one day, they would be able to share their findings with others. Just like the legends in Lee’s family, they weren’t sure how much was accurate. But they knew this for sure – if a goat screams at you, all you can do is scream right back.
- Sofia Dankis