The little boy dreamed in the cold dark lonely space beneath the stairs, hiding from another year of Finland’s Christmas horrors, when the evil Goat beast would come to eat the little boys. The parents had told him so. Hiding betwixt the smells of cement, spider webs, and the cedar framing of the he stuffed chocolate chip cookies and bits of bread into his mouth, one after another after another. He was afraid to come up for dinner so he did what he had to do. In the cellar he dreamed of growing up, changing his name and running away to another country where there was no Christmas.
The little boy gets free in his mind, moves to America, gets a job, becomes a young man, and forgets about Finland and goat beasts and Christmas. WHAT’S THAT NOISE—it’s too late now, no escape. He closes his eyes, it’s nothing. He just wants go to America, get older, find a girl, get married with kids and bills and two jobs and no life anymore.
Little boy wants to skip growing up. Become a little man. Little men aren’t afraid of little goat beasts because little goat beasts don’t eat men. They eat boys. Wait a minute. How can goat beasts tell the difference if they are both little? Must be able to smell a difference between a boy and a man? WAIT!!! If the goat beast can smell that well, then maybe he can smell boys hiding beneath the stairs. Little man cannot think anymore, he gets wrapped up in the thought that the goat beast will smell him out. Even cookies suck now, what good are cookies against a Finish goat beast, they suck. WIT A MINUTE—What if the Goat beast isn’t just Finnish, what if he goes to America at Christmas time?
You’ve got to be kidding? Little boy is desensitized now and bored, consigned to his dreaded fate. There’s no beating the goat beast. Why even try. Little battered man is retreating back to the cellar in his mind. Knowing he’ll never get out alive, never survive Christmas Eve, the cellar isn't even remotely scary anymore. He curls up on the cold floor with his cookies, with his blanket, it's where he sleeps. Little feller is too tired to sleep, numb to the horrors of Finland’s Christmas and Finland’s Christmas beasts. He thinks that maybe, just maybe if he stays still and quiet, the goat beast might skip his house and devour some other children. That thought makes the boy sad. He says a prayer to himself and crosses his heart and closes his eyes, finally drifting off into a sweat riddled peace less sleep, waking up the next morning to hear his family assembling for breakfast. At first he believes himself to be a ghost, but then he realizes that he is alive indeed, with a head full of problems that will need to be worked out.