In a game preserve - I forgot which one - Once upon a time lived a Billy Goat. Living among wolves didn’t howl like one He maaa’d goat songs like a goat ought. He was grazing in the meadow growing rounder every day Never getting into any troubled matter. He was useless as a goat - as the Russians like to say, However he was harmless, which is better. He lived in the woods, by the little moat Never treading the turf of his neighbors’ But - they noticed one day modest Billy Goat, And elected him to be their Scapegoat. For example Bear, local goon and cheat, Would insult or hurt someone, like the bears do, They would find the Goat, bring him in, and beat Him between the horns till he couldn’t move. Poor Goat suffered daily never trying to protest He endured all the beatings with a smile Even Bear said: "The Goat sets example for the rest He is a hero, I have noticed after while." They protected him like a royal heir Even sent patrols all along the road To make sure that, even if he’d care, From the game preserve couldn’t go the Goat. As far as the Goat, he was running free However he started acting weird Once he braded his dirty long goatie And called Wolf a jerk from behind a tree. Yet another day or evening, as he was routinely "scaped" All because the Wolves bit more than their share He, as though by mistake, began to growl like a Bear But at that time no one seemed to hear or care. While the predators fought their petty wars The opinion grew in the game preserve That more precious than Foxes, Wolves or Boars Is the priceless old Billy-scaping-Goat. Once the Goat heard that, all his manners changed "Hey you, brown", he cried, "hey you, grey, I will take away the Wolves’ place in chain And from Bears their rights to see light of day." "I will show you what a Goat is like when he is really mad I will poke holes in everything that moves I will gore you to death and after that I’ll hurt you bad And I’ll let the world know you died from my hooves." More than one of you will eat dirt for food You will rot in hell where it’s really hot, It is I who will decide if you were bad or good There is no escape from the Scaping Goat! In a game preserve - I forgot which one - Goat runs the show, not like once before, He lived among Wolves, and he howled like one, Now he growls like Bear, so he scares more.                
© Alex Tolkachev. Translation, 1999