In a wilderness - in which one I forgot, There lived a goat, cloven hoofs and horns, Though he lived with wolves, wolfish he was not, Gentle as a lamb, he was kind and tame. He was always quiet and peaceful, nibbling flowers and weed, Always minding his own goaty business, Goat was probably as useless as his own tits, But he didn’t do much harm to anybody either. So he lived out there, peaceful and remote, Not trespassing upon either property, Yet they noticed him, humble little goat, He became their scapegoat inadvertently. When big brown Bear - troublemaking rogue, Roared his rudenesses at other animals, They would call up Goat and begin to flog, Beating Goat up, knocking him around. Billy goat did not do violence in response to their crime, He endured his beating and humiliation, Bear pronounced him a hero and their unremitting shine, Superanimal that has angelic patience. And they guarded Goat as a precious gem, Words of caution were posted around the woods, That their goat be kept in the wilderness, and not let escape from the area... Billy goat was goat, jumping here and there, But he started acting wild in the wilderness, Put his beard in braids, hid behind the bush - Yelled at Wolf from there foolish rudenesses. One time he was getting beaten, suffering for others’ sins, Others’ sins that could be big or rather minor, Goat by accident let out a very loud bear roar, But they paid no heed to such a mix-up. And while predators fought for primacy, Other animals formed an opinion, That the one who gets love, cherish, and respect, Is their beloved goat, their whipping goat. As Goat heard this word, he turned proud and vain, He began intimidating other animals, “I’ll take your food, - said he to the wolves, “I’ll make you beg, - bears heard him say.” You will see my goat-face now as you’ve never seen before, I will stamp you in and stamp you out, I will wrap you ‘round my horns and then smear you ‘round the woods, And you will become infamous for your deeds. You will all eat dirt, sorry for yourself, I will make you die without absolution, Who will take the blame - that’s for me to decide I will not be kind in retribution. In a wilderness - in which one I forgot, Quiet Billy goat turned to Bully goat, Those who live with wolves howl and prey like wolves, Like breeds like, they say, inescapably.                
© Inna Kouper. Translation, 2012