zlateh the goat and the “maaaaaaaaaaa” that means many things


Life speaks in many ways through countless channels. On the night I first heard this end-of-Hanukkah story read by CBC As It Happens’ “Fireside Al,” I was moved to tears. I was struck by the parallels between the story of a furrier’s goat and the way we treat old people, at least in the first instance. I couldn’t help but be touched when they young hero understands that Zlateh’s bleat carries meaning beyond that which he might have dreamed. I reflected on how we are often at a loss when those we love who live with dementia try to express their thoughts and feelings and are unable to do so in ways we can easily decipher.

This end-of-Hanukkah story of Zlateh the Goat resonated so powerfully with me that I wept throughout as I listened to the telling of it. I only wish we could keep aging family members with us in loving care instead of handing them over to others like, in some tragic cases, unfortunate animals to the slaughter. Sadly, many eldercare stories don’t have happy endings like this one (sorry for the spoiler!).

I hope you are as moved by the story as I was and still am:

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