‘Remnants’ by Eowyn Ivey


From Five Chapters:

Lana was a little girl, memories just beginning to take hold, when she first saw the wild goats on the mountain. This is when they were still cloud wool, pulled from the sky, before they were blood and broken bone down a scree slide.

“Do you see them, Lana?” Her mother crouched beside her in the garden, her cotton skirt gathered about her legs, and pointed up the mountain. “Look there,” and Lana rested her cheek against the bare, outstretched arm and smelled warm skin and dust and onions. Her mother continued to point. “You see where the forest ends, where the green stops. Just above there, on the rocks.”

At first she saw only her mother’s hand. The dark spruce forest at the edge of the garden. The tall, rocky mountain. Then there was sun, blinding white in the sky.

“Oh, I see it! I see it!”

“No, love. Not the snow. Not at the very top. Bring your eyes down just a bit. There. Those are mountain goats.” And tiny white flecks formed on gray-blue stone.

“Let’s go see them,” Lana said.

“Oh, it is much too far. When you are bigger, maybe Papa will take you.”

For the rest of that August afternoon, Lana thought of nothing else.

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