Someone’s father purchases a goat, and this goat starts a cavalcade of anguish and gluttony, with animals, objects, people, and supernatural beings all dragged into the all-consuming whirlpool of the song. The entire universe changes, and it is all because of one goat, and it has been this way since the beginning of time, in every story that has ever been told. In the story of Passover, for example, if Moses had not been rescued from his basket in the reeds, the Jewish people might still be slaves in Egypt, so the infant Moses can be said to be a goat. If your parents had never met, then there might be an uglier, crueler person sitting at the Passover table, instead of your own charming self, so your parents are goats. Every person in the world, and every action each person takes, is a goat, accumulating cats and dogs and staffs and fires and all of the joy and terror that makes up the stuff of the universe. You are a goat, and when you wake up in the morning, that is a goat, and eating breakfast is a goat, and all the goats over the world are goating and goating and goating, all the time wondering if the goat they are and the goats they are goating are the right goat or the wrong goat, which is why the world often seems as stubborn as a goat, as ravenous as a goat, as loud as a goat, as grumpy as a goat, as quick and jumpy and frisky and soft and woolly and horny and taily as a goat—until the world itself seems to be a goat, made up of countless other goats, and watched over by some enormous, all-seeing goat who created all this goating in its image.

haggadah Section: Songs