Roger L. Simon

Zlateh the Goat

Hannukah is fast upon us and, although she reads very well herself now, I have been reading some Isaac Singer children stories to Madeleine. These tales are mostly set in Chelm, a village of lovable idiots in Yiddish lore. We finished the book tonight with the title story, “Zlateh the Goat.” It is an astonishing work of compressed compassion and something of an animal rights masterpiece. (Singer was a vegetarian.) Tears were in the eyes of father and daughter when I shut the book.