My grandparents used to rent a house in a little mountain village for three months in the summer and I used to go there every summer since I was 5 until I was 14 with my sister, which is 7 years older than me, and my cousin which is 3 years younger than me. I really liked my time there so when I grew older this passion for the mountain stuck with me. I am now 26 and every summer I go hiking with my boyfriend. The trails we use to hike are sometimes very stiff and it's just the two of us, surrounded by the mountain and the silence that covers everything. Sometimes we even camp half way if the climb is too long.
One day we were climbing a difficult one near a lake in Italy and I finished first, so I was waiting for my boyfriend at the end of the path, at the top of that mountain. It was beautiful there, butterflies flew on the flowers around me, and birds were chirping happily. I could see the whole lake surrounded by the forest. I like to sit in the silence of the mountain and watch the stunning view of the lake and watch the animals around me living their lives. It's relaxing.
I was sitting there on a rock and, I don't know how, but I felt something was in the woods behind me. Behind me there was a precipice not very deep though and the forest would cover the end of it and all around. I stood up and tried to see if there was something down there. That's when I saw it (I still get shivers when I think about it) deep down there, there was a chamois, a beautiful one with long horns, I got excited because I rarely see one. I was looking at him from behind, his fur was light brown and he had a black line that went from the neck to the tail, but something was very wrong with it, that's when I froze. His front legs looked like they didn't end with a normal cloven hoof, but he had three fingers at the end of his front legs similar to a bird claw but not that sharp, the back legs seemed normal. I could see it cause he was walking very slowly and calmly through the vegetation. Then I noticed with great horror that his face seemed flat, no muzzle, I couldn't look at him directly in the face but I couldn't see his forehead and nose, what should have been there, just wasn't. Thinking about it now I really wished I had seen his face, just to see how the eyes and mouth were organized.
He disappeared in the pine's shadow and I was still there shocked when my boyfriend finally arrived. I told him what I saw and he didn't believe me, he laughed. I know it's not scary and it can even be funny if you think about it, a chamois with eagle leg and flat face. I thought about it all the time we were descending. It was so weird. At the end I told myself that I must have dreamed it even if I would love to know that I wasn't the only one to see that thing. I like to think it was a Deity that took the form of a chamois.
There wasn't any village at the mountain's feet so I couldn't ask if someone saw that too, or if someone knew nothing about a weird animal living in the forest.
First of all, I loved your story. And this creature you described instantly reminded me of one of my favorite films.
It sounds just like "the forest spirit" from the film Princess Mononoke. If you haven't seen it, its an incredibly beautiful animated film.
In the movie, the forest spirit is a nature god that has a body much like a chamois, but the feet are three-toed bird feet! And the face is flat! Maybe you saw an ancient, elemental forest guardian. You are so lucky!
Just google search "forest spirit princess mononoke". Its a very striking creature. And definitely watch the film!