The Rainbow Goat

November 3, 2011

On the slopes at the outskirts of Dehra Dun, we wandered along, looking for the sub-Himalayan birds that had been seen in such plenty in March of this year. While the others continued their search….they climbed down a steep slope that I had no intention of negotiating, with two cameras and a pair of bincoculars….my attention was riveted by a colourful vision that climbed up that same steep slope, and came up on to the road….

S rnbwgoat 281011 d dun

Soon, the shepherd came up with the other goats, too:

S rnbow gt shphrd 281011 d dun

I could not contain my curiosity about the rainbow goat, and asked the shepherd about it. “It is to prevent theft,” he explained. But, I asked him, would not branding help? “No, ji,” he said. “These are woolly goats,and I cannot brand them so that the brand will show, and if I colour just some hair, a thief can just snip it off…so when I put all these colours on various parts of the goat’s hair, it’s a better way of preventing anyone from stealing the valuable animal, unless they want to practically shear the entire animal, and then it will stand our like a sore thumb anyway.”

So colour as an insurance against theft, in a rural setting…an interesting concept!