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Written by Aleksei Marchyn
Friendship between children and animals can be observed in literary works very often, especially in stories for children. Singer uses animals to teach some moral lessons in his stories very often, and Zlateh the Goat is one of them. Animals, being not corrupted by jealousy, meanness and other things that people so often yield to, have clear souls, not stained with all those material values. So animals very often are described as friends of children, because in some circumstances they can teach children some valuable lesson no grown-up would be ever able to teach. Friendship of a child and an animal is a poor one, it is able to stand outer unfavorable conditions, and leave happy memories out of them.
Goat as a symbol of sacrifice
Goats have been one of the first animals to be domesticated by humans and used in different religious ceremonies, and one of them was sacrifice. The author does not choose a goat accidentally as a character in this story, he wants to remind how people tend to shift their sins on others, usually on animals and then to deaden them. That is what was going to happen with Zlateh, she was to be sacrificed for the sake of celebrations, for humans to be able to buy candles and sweets. We may just guess what would happen if Zlateh was led not by a child, but by a grow-up, she probably would not return home. But children are not like grown-ups, they have poor souls and can comprehend the things of real importance.
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