1966 copyright; SIGNED BY I. B. SINGER on inside page (see pic); Pictures by Maurice Sendak; hardbound; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket good with minor edge wear.
Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories is a 1966 book of short stories written by Polish-American author Isaac Bashevis Singer. The stories were translated from Yiddish, which was Singer's language of choice for writing, by Singer and Elizabeth Shub. Maurucie Sendak provided illustrations for the book. Among other recognition the book received, it was a runner-up for the Newbery Medal (i.e., a Newbery Honor Book) in 1967. It has been translated into many languages.
The last short story in the book is set around Hanukkah time in an unnamed Jewish settlement in Poland. Reuven, a local furrier, is having trouble making money to provide his family with Hanukkah supplies and other necessities as the winter has been relatively mild and there has been little need for his services. Further complicating matters is the fact that the family's source of milk, their goat Zlateh, has grown old and is not as capable of producing milk as she used to be.
The town's butcher Feivel has decided to offer to buy Zlateh from Reuven for eight gulden, where he will slaughter her and sell her meat. After some debating and despite the objections of Reuven's wife Leah and his two daughters Anna and Miriam, he decides that the money that will come from the sale of the goat is more important to the family's well being and sends his son, Aaron, to bring Zlateh into town. Zlateh does not suspect anything about being taken into town, as she has been remarkably well taken care of and has come to trust her owners, but is surprised when the reluctant Aaron (having to "obey his father") begins steering her toward town. On the way Zlateh the suddenly wonders where Aaron is taking her when she passes new fields, pastures, and farms, but she soon tells herself that she is a goat that is not supposed to have any questions.
While on the way, the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse and Aaron and Zlateh are caught in a hail storm. The conditions quickly grow worse and the boy and goat are trapped in a blizzard. Aaron gets lost as the snow covers his path and he quickly begins to look for shelter, with his life and Zlateh's now in severe danger. He finds a pile of hay in a field and digs out a shelter for himself and the goat, which is protected from the weather and is warm enough for both to survive. Aaron pokes a hole in the haystack to allow air to get into the makeshift shelter.
Unfortunately, the food Aaron was carrying with him when sent out runs out quickly and he is in danger of starving to death if he does not find sustenance. Luckily for him, Zlateh is able to produce milk by eating the hay and Aaron survives by drinking it. This process continues for three days, while the snow continues to fall around them. While trapped, Aaron and Zlateh develop a special sort of bond, where Aaron begins to view Zlateh not as simply his pet, but more "like a sister."...