"Zlateh the Goat" opens during an unusually warm winter. The weather has been bad for the business of a furrier named Reuven, who eventually decides to sell the family goat Zlateh so that his family will have money for Hanukkah celebrations. His family is very sad at the prospect of selling Zlateh to the town butcher, but they acquiesce. Reuven entrusts the task of delivering Zlateh to the town to his son Aaron.
Aaron and Zlateh set out on the road to the town. Zlateh is perplexed at this strange turn of events, but obedient. But as they walk, a blizzard begins. The snow overpowers them and they begin to get very cold. Suddenly, Aaron spots a haystack covered in snow, and they climb inside to seek shelter.
Aaron and Zlateh remain in the haystack for three days until the snow stops. During that time, Aaron survives by drinking Zlateh’s milk and lying down next to her for warmth. Aaron and Zlateh develop a strong bond, like that of siblings, and when the snow stops, Aaron resolves to take her back to the family instead of selling her.
When Aaron and Zlateh show up in the village, their family rejoices in finding them alive after such a dangerous storm. Luckily, the snowstorm has brought renewed business for Reuven's furs, and they have enough money to celebrate Hanukkah without needing to sell Zlateh. Zlateh instead becomes an even more treasured member of the family, sometimes coming inside as the children played dreidel during Hanukkah and warming herself by the fire.