Ole Goat of Grede Mountain joins the animals headed to the market to sell their wares, but he hasn't anything to sell. He carries a big black bag for the purpose of holding the goods he steals from everyone else: "My bag is hungry." Owl hands over his table, and Hedgehog relinquishes her flower bouquets, though not without a fight. Ole Goat even steals from Raccoon, who is selling tools to get food for his children. Soon the bag is enormous. Then Ole Goat meets Bear, who has nothing but a feathered hat. Grabbing for the hat, the goat trips over his own bag and tumbles down a mountain, getting the comeuppance he deserves. The story fairly bounces with energy, and Chwast takes the mischief to greater heights with rambunctious watercolors depicting the meanest, bullyingest billy goat ever imagined. The theme is straightforward, but the tone is light and fun.
"On market day, a greedy goat bullies his neighbors into giving him their belongings. He stuffs everything into his ever-expanding black bag and goes to look for more--until he meets Bear, who teaches him that he already has more than enough. The facial expressions of the animals add humor to the somewhat awkward watercolor illustrations in this cautionary tale." Horn Book
Greed has no bounds for this bully goat and his insatiable black bag in Tompert's tale, which is not so much cumulative as it is avaricious. On market day, Ole Goat is on the prowl; from anyone he encounters he demands their goods, or I'll pitch you down this mountain with a butt from my bony, bony head.' One after another, the wares belonging to owl, rabbit, and fox go into the evermore capacious black sack: There's always room for more. . . . I'll never have enough,' howls Ole Goat. By the time the goat challenges a bear who has nothing but his hat to tender, the grasping creature trips over the bloat and winds up in a mud puddle. Tompert's text offers a crisp backhand to the pox of greed, while Chwast's artwork is highly demonstrative and engaging.