Another youth who was hunting in the vicinity heard the bleating and entered their camp. He reproached them for their cruelty and warned them that they would surely be punished. Then he took the kid away from them, set it free in a pleasant spot on the mountainside, and returned home. The four youths also returned to the village, wearing heavy packs of goat meat.
Summer came round and the people turned their attention to fishing. No sooner had the fishing season ended than three strangers entered the village and invited them to attend a great feast that was to be held in a place not far away. The villagers joyfully accepted the invitation and, guided by the three messengers, started out in a body.
They traveled for three days toward the setting sun and at last reached a big village whose large and imposing houses were fronted by many totem poles. Their hosts offered them abundant meat of different kinds and assigned them a house in which to pass the night. But a youth of the village quietly approached the man who had rescued the kid and invited him to stay in a different house far over to one side.
That evening their hosts summoned them to an entertainment in another large house. Someone said to each chief as he entered the building, “Sit down yonder, and you will see something”.
The villagers sat around the three sides of the house and waited expectantly. Suddenly the house seemed to split in two, and in what had been the middle of the floor appeared a high precipice.
“Look”, said a voice.
Far down the face of the precipice wandered two mountain goats. The scene vanished, and the house took in its normal appearance.
“Look again”, said the voice.
The house parted a second time, and the floor was transformed into a lake of dark-blue water. Then the lake also vanished, and the house became as it was before.
Now that the entertainment had ended, the visitors returned to the house that had been assigned to them and slept. But the man who had rescued the kid returned to the house far over to one side where he had been told to sleep. There his young host cooked some food for him and, after he had eaten said, “If you hear a noise in the night, don’t move. All your companions are about to die, but I will save your life.”
They lay down together, his host sleeping on the outside. In the middle of the night came a great wind accompanied by the bleating of young goats.
The man was frightened and tried to rise but directly in front of him, hemming him in, stood a young goat. Unable to move he waited anxiously until daylight, when he found himself lying on a narrow ledge overlooking a high precipice. Far below were the mangled remains of his companions who had been destroyed during the night.
The goat now rubbed his feet and hands and allowed him to stand up.
“I will descend in front of you”, it said. “Place your feet exactly in my tracks and grasp the rock with your hands.”
With the goat leading the way, he began the descent. Wherever he touched the rock, it felt like soft mud that offered a sure footing. So they reached the bottom in safety. The man now opened his paint bag, rubbed some red paint on the young goat’s shoulders, and said:
“Next year many people will come to this mountain to hunt goats; but I have marked you with this paint that no one may harm you, because you have saved my life.”
And the goat replied, “Search among these corpses for your family and kinsmen. Rub them with your hands, and they will come back to life. Next year I will gather all the goats on this mountain for you and your people to kill. I myself will be among them.”
The man restored his kinsfolk to life and led them home.
A year later they gathered at the same mountain to hunt goats. So many animals did they see standing above on its slopes that the mountain seemed covered with snow. The hunters pursued them until they killed all except one, the goat with red paint on its shoulders. This one the man whom it had rescued held in his hands and forbade them to kill.
“Let them kill me if they wish”, the goat said to him.
But he answered, “No. You saved my life. If they kill you, they must kill me also”.
So the young goat was given its liberty. Ever since it has remained high up on this mountain.