Zlateh the Goat

Zlateh the Goat Character List


Aaron is Reuven's oldest son and the protagonist of the story. At twelve years old, he is entrusted by the family to take Zlateh to the town to sell. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, he digs a hole in a haystack so that he and Zlateh can survive. After three days in the haystack, he forms a deep bond with Zlateh and decides he cannot sell her.


Zlateh is an old goat owned by a Jewish family in a rural village. She is a beloved goat even though she cannot produce milk anymore. When the family falls upon hard times, they reluctantly decide to sell her, and she follows patiently and obediently. She keeps Aaron alive throughout the storm with her milk and warmth, and is portrayed in the story as wise, patient, and loving.


Reuven is the village furrier. He has a wife and three young children. When Hanukkah comes one mild winter, he reluctantly decides to sell Zlateh to be able to provide holiday cheer for his family.


Feyvel is the town butcher who offers to buy Zlateh. Readers never meet this character, as Aaron and Zlateh never make it to the town.


Leah is Aaron’s mother and Reuven’s wife. She is portrayed as loving towards her family and towards Zlateh.

Anna and Miriam

They are Aaron’s younger sisters, who also love Zlateh.


Aaron frequently thanks God and prays to God throughout his time in the snowstorm, suggesting God's presence in the story.