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Capricorn: The Sea-Goat

Myth based on the original Greek legend.

Once upon a time in the ancient lands of Greece, long before goats roamed the Grecian hills and grazed on their sweet grasses, there lived the great Pricus, the sea-goat. Pricus had many children. After many years of teaching and taking care of his fellow sea-goats, none would come to act on their curiosity quite like the sea-goat triplets, Am, Al, and Theia.

The three of them were always getting into the most trouble, clogging up sea pipes with their swift tails and waking up the ocean’s animal kingdom with their loud, clambering hooves. Am, Al, and Theia loved their feet and could move together in harmony. The three of them went everywhere along; not only were they a sight to see, but they were also quite a song to hear!

Now, Pricus was created by the Greek god of time, Chronos, who needed a magnificent creature to help him on his journey with the high clock. Once Pricus was born, Chronos made him immortal so that the goat could live forever.

Forever he lived among his children in the vast Mediterranean Sea and oceans beyond it. Sea-goats were fascinating creatures that loved the deep waters. They could swim freely and even practice their clomping and stomping on the rocks underwater. You see, sea-goats were unique creatures. At the front, they looked like goats as we know them, but at the back, they looked like fish!

Beyond having had so many children, of which he rarely saw anyone that often, Pricus was kept busy with telling stories, teaching history, and helping those in need.  Being honorable as this half-goat/ half-fish creature was, however, Pricus made sure to educate all his children about the importance of cooperation with all other living things in the ocean. News around the ocean’s animal kingdom and amongst many of his sea-goat children had spread quickly about Am, Al, and Theia.  Father of all sea-goats, Pricus grew to know his set of playful sea-goat triplets.

Their songs sounded so lovely underwater and began to attract all of Pricus’ children. Along with them and some other sea creatures, he followed their songs to where the triplets spent most of their time together—splashing in coordination in the shallower parts of the sea floor.

On an unusually cloudy day, Am, Al, and Theia were playing in a small coral reef. As the sun shone through a small opening in the clouds, its rays caught the glimmer of a small piece of coral floating towards shore. The triplets saw this and in agreement, half-swam/ half-galloped to follow it.
Just as the triplets were approaching the shore, Pricus and others began arriving. Am, Al, and Theia followed the rhythm of each other’s hooves, and started to pull themselves out of the water!

 

CLOP, CLOP!
CLAP, CLAP, CLAP!
CLOP, CLOP!
CLAP!

 

The other sea-goat children heard these sounds, and by now, the sun was shining exceptionally bright. Pricus and the rest of his children could see the triplets begin to bask in the sun’s glorious rays, moving their hooves back and forth to a particular beat. The other sea-goats saw this and half-swam/ half-trotted to shore, too. From memory, they followed the triplets’ rhythm:

 

CLOP, CLOP!
CLAP, CLAP, CLAP!
CLOP, CLOP!
CLAP!

 

As Pricus could tell, the longer his sea-goat children sat on the rocky shore, the stranger their magnificent fish tails began to look. Mirroring their front legs, many of the sea-goats were now growing new back legs with hooves on them! Pricus was devastated as he could foresee all his children losing their beautiful tails that helped them swim the ocean deep.

So, he searched his brain and remembered a long and complicated ability Chronos had given him at birth—the ability to reverse time. Pricus moved aside and waited as time began to shift. His children turned back into sea-goats, the clouds came out again, and the triplets went back to making their song in the ocean. None of the other creatures of the sea remembered a thing. Pricus, with his great abilities, was the only sea-goat to commemorate the event.

However, time passed, and Pricus stumbled upon the triplets each with four hooves once more. They were clambering their new songs on land, attracting all his sea-goat children to follow in their hoof-steps. Again, Pricus used his ability to reverse time.

Pricus spent ages reversing time and living through countless scenes of the triplets and the rest of his sea-goat children clambering to shore in their unique harmony. He loved their new sound on land, but it was a different melody. It was flashier and more precise than when heard in the water, but their sound echoed less on earth.

Filled with sadness, Pricus’ steadfast hope to have his children back with him grew to patience for himself. He slowly understood Chronos’ journey with the great clock, as he saw his children on shore running around, clopping, and clapping. Am, Al, and Theia were already scaling hills and rocky mounds with ease. Their playful harmony was beautiful.

Pricus stopped reversing time. He stayed near the shallow waters of the Grecian shores until he no longer could see his children running in circles or chasing each other’s hoof-prints in the sand. They had all moved to higher ground. As they walked away, Pricus filled with a sense of immense sadness. He rarely visited Chronos in the flesh, but due to his grief, Pricus met with him.

He asked him to turn him into a mortal to live out the rest of his days near the shore in mourning.

“I cannot bear a life away from my children’s songs,” Pricus said.

Chronos had been observing. His sympathy for Pricus was great, but his love for Pricus’ abilities to teach and guide others was just as great. So, Chronos refused Pricus’ request. Instead, he granted him a great gift of even greater permanent status.

Pricus became the stars in the sky. The constellation Capricorn is where Pricus is now. He glimmers through the night sky, through the clouds, gazing at his children on their higher ground and listening to their sweet sounds of melody.


The End.

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