The Goat and the Ram (ukrainian folk tale)


The Goat and the Ram (ukrainian folk tale) There once lived a man and his wife who had a Goat and a Ram. The Goat and the Ram were great friends and were never out of each other's sight for long. The Goat would go to the vegetable garden to eat some cabbage, and the Ram would follow him; the Goat would go to the orchard, and there was the Ram at his heels!

 "Let's drive out the Goat and the Ram, wife," said the man. "They will eat us out of house and home if we don’t." And, turning to the two friends, he shouted: "Out you go now, Goat and Ram, and never let me see you here again!"

 The Goat and the Ram made themselves a sack, put their belongings in it and set out on their way.

 They walked and they walked, they came to a field, and there, in the middle of it, lay a wolf's head!

 Now, the Ram was strong but not very brave, and the Goat was brave but not very strong.

 "Take the wolf's head, Ram, for you are strong," said the Goat.

 "No, Goat, you take it, for you are brave," said the Ram.

 So they both took hold of the wolf's head together, thrust it into the sack and went their way further.

 They walked and they walked, and by and by they saw a campfire burning ahead.

 "Let us go to where that fire is," said the Goat. "We can spend the night beside it and be safe from the wolves."

 They came up to the fire, and lo! — seated around it cooking porridge were three Wolves.

 "Hello, friends!" said the Goat and the Ram.

 "Hello!" the Wolves replied. "Our porridge isn't ready yet, so. We can begin on you while it's cooking."

 Now, this frightened even the Goat, and as for the Ram, he had been shaking in his shoes ever since he had first laid eyes on the Wolves.

 "Come, Brother Ram, take the wolf's head out of the sack!" said the Goat, deciding on a plan of action.

 The Ram did as he was told.

 "Not that one, the bigger one!" said the Goat.

 The Ram put the wolf's head back into the sack and then brought it out again.

 "No! Take out the biggest one!” the Goat said.

 The Wolves sat there, and they were every bit as frightened now as the Goat and the Ram and only wanted to make their escape.

 "Those two are not to be joked with," they said. "Look at them taking one wolf's head after another out of the sack!"

 They thought it over, and one of them said:

 "It's a pleasant little gathering we have here, and the porridge is cooking nicely, all it needs is more water. I think I'll go and fetch some." And adding under his breath, "A plague on the lot of you!" he took to his heels.

 The second Wolf sat there and he wanted nothing but to do as the first Wolf had done.

 "Look at that rascal! It's as though the earth had swallowed him! He's never brought the water for the porridge," he said. "I think I’ll take a switch and drive him back here!"

 And with that he took to his heels.

 The third Wolf sat there and waited for them to come back and then he said:

 "I think I'll go and bring those two back!"

 And away he ran and was very glad to have made his escape.

 "Quick, Brother Ram, there's no time to be lost. Let us eat the porridge and rim for our lives!” the Goat cried.

 In the meantime, the three Wolves, who were together again, began to think over what they had done, and one of them said:

 "Whatever have we to fear from the Goat and the Ram, brothers?

 Let us go back and eat them up!"

 They came back to the selfsame place, but the Goat and the Ram were not there. They had finished the porridge and had just had time to climb an oak tree.

 The Wolves began to think what to do, they walked off a little way and looked about them, and lo! — there were the Goat and the Ram up in a tree. The Goat, who was the braver of the two, had climbed to the very top, and the Ram, who was not so brave, was much nearer the ground.

 "Look here, Shaggy," said the two younger Wolves to the third Wolf who was older and shaggier than they. "Lie down and read the stars and tell us how we are to catch those two!"

 The older Wolf lay down on the ground and began reading the stars.

 And the Ram saw him and shook so in fear that he toppled down from the tree and fell on top of him! And as for the Goat, he did not stop to think, but, being very brave indeed, called out loudly:

 "Hand me that fortuneteller!"

 At this the Wolves made off at a run, and so fast did they go that the dust rose in clouds behind them.

 And the Goat and the Ram, who had not a care in the world now, built themselves a hut and have been living there ever since.

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