“What brings you to my forests?” The Huntress asked. She was wearing fur lined leather boots and breeches. A fur lined leather jerkin covered her breasts while she carried a bow that could not miss. Her skin was bronze and her eyes blue and not quite round. Her braid which flowed from her head to her waist was as thick as her wrist and as black as the raven and wolf that accompanied her. Her body was shapely, but in the toned and muscular way of a woman who provided for herself.
“All creatures are mine, and their realms are open to me.” The Horned One said with a suggestive smile. He had a beard and hair of black. His eyes were black as well, that is to say iris, pupil and sclera were all black- and menacing. His skin was bronze and his arms, chest and abdomen were well toned. But things went awry below the navel. He walked on the hind legs of a black goat. And his permanently erect phallus was too large to belong to a goat or a man. And then there were the horns, if you had somehow missed them before seeing what was below his waist. Two, also black and shiny, curved like a ram’s and protruding from the top of his otherwise human head.
“The animals of the fields are yours and that is where you belong.” The Huntress said tersely. “The beasts and the forests are mine.”
They were standing opposite each other across a small creek in a forest inhabited by deer and thick with oaks. The Horned One crossed the stream and sat on a large rock next to her and settled himself for a stay.
“Animals are animals,” The Horned One said with a shrug. “Birds and bears, hunters and hunted all obey my call. Even humans.”
“You are not welcome here, Great Horny One.” The Huntress rebuked him.
The Horned One frowned and lifted a set pipes to his lips. I suspect that The Huntress feared those pipes more than The Horned One feared her bow, and with good reason.
“Why have you come here? Are there not animals and fields that need you to make them fertile?” The Huntress asked. It came out in a rush, she needed The Horned One to forget about those pipes.
“Oh, the fields and beasts and even a few farmers wives have been blessed by me this season. I have turned my focus to other goals.” He said with his smile, repulsive and seductive at the same time.
“The beasts of the forest need no help from you.”
“Oh, My Dear, it is you who needs my help.”
“I need nothing from you,” The Huntress said with a scoff.
“Oh, but I have come to enlighten you. To teach you the joys of the flesh,” The Horned One said with his sardonic smile.
“I have no need for that.”
“Do you not?”
“I have taken an oath of chastity.”
“Yes, I know. And why? Why would you deny yourself this pleasure?”
“We are gods, we create pleasure with our will. And we are immortal. We need not to have children to worship us and to prove our existence to posterity. Coitus only distracts us from our true purposes.” My Lady, The Huntress answered wisely.
“You will not join me in coitus?”
“Absolutely not,” The Huntress said with disgust.
“Because of your oath?”
“Because you are a goat-fucker.”
The Horned Ones smile did not disappear as much as it shifted. Gone was the smile of sensuous invitation, and in its place a smile without mirth. A mask. A lesser being would say The Horned One was offended, but gods do not get offended. They get wrathful.
“Have it that way then,” The Horned One said as he began to play the pipes.
How long did he play? An hour? A millenia? It is impossible to say since gods have no sense of time. But what I can say is that his song, his spell worked. The Huntress was virtually his thrall when the song was finished.
“And now, My Dear, to teach you how to play the pipe.” The Horned One said with an openly malignant smile and tone into the glazed over eyes of The Huntress.
I was there when it happened.
I saw all of it.
I could have ripped The Horned One’s throat out.
I should have ripped The Horned One’s throat out.
But I am bound to My Lady, The Huntress. And I can not act without her command. You and I can assume from here unto eternity that she would have wanted me to. But the simple fact is that she did not command it.
The simple fact is that she could not command it.
The Great Horned One had his way with her and my fangs could do nothing to stop him
And when he finished he left her in that glade, on that rock, beside that stream.
When she came out of her trance she began to cry. I still consider this to be the strangest thing I have ever seen in all of my time. A goddess crying? The Lady of The Hunt, The Lady of The Forest, The Maiden of Childbearing and Birthing, crying?
The Huntress knew she was pregnant as soon as she was able to form coherent thoughts again. Of course she knew she was pregnant, she is the goddess of pregnancy. She sent Raven and I out to hunt for her while she nested in that place. I can not say how long it was that she nested there. How long is the gestation for a goddess? A week? An era? As I have already said, time has little meaning to us.
She birthed her and named her after the place of her conception and birth. You would call the child Rhea Silvius if your historians had recorded her name correctly.
Our Lady told us not to tell any of the others. And it was Raven who disobeyed. She has always been defiant. It was The Warrior she told, and it was he who visited us in that glade. “Give her to me, sister. I will raise her in my temple,” was what The Warrior said to her.
“No,” The Huntress replied.
“Would you have the world know that you were violated?” The Warrior said, he was not accustomed to being refused.
“There is no shame in it, and if there is it is The Horny Goats- not mine.” The Huntress replied.
“No, not shame,” The Warrior concurred, “but you swore an oath. It makes you look weak before man and gods alike.”
“Weak? Me? You forget yourself brother!” The Huntress said, reflexively touching her bow.
The Warrior took a step back, but he answered with confidence. “You know I am correct. You know this is best for her, for you, for everyone. You can visit her. She will even know who you are, but no one else can.”
“Why your temple? Why not mine?” The Huntress asked.
“On Delos?” The Warrior said, “they will know her as soon as you bring her. My temple will believe I found her.”
The Huntress gave him a flat look, “I’ll think on it, brother. But if you truly love me then help me.”
“That is what I’m trying to do, Dear Sister,” The Warrior replied.
“You offer help that is not wanted or needed,” The Huntress replied, “I want you to help me kill The Horny Goat.”