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Dexterity Of A Goat

( Originally Published 1851 )



A correspondent informs us, that when in India, he was often amused by a juggler who came under the windows with a goat and a basket of blocks, one inch square, but very accurately levelled. Placing the four feet of the goat closely together vu one block, he added others under, in succession, till the goat was mounted in the air to the second story! The animal was small and well tutoredóbut even then it always seemed a most remarkable feat.

Dr. Clarke in his Travels describes a similar exhibition. " Upon our road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem," says this writer, we met an Arab with a goat, which he led about the country for exhibition, in order to gain a livelihood for itself and owner. He had taught this animal, while he accompanied its movements with a song, to mount upon little cylindrical blocks of wood, placed successively one above the other, and in shape resembling the dice-boxes belonging to a backgammon table. In this manner the goat stood, first upon the top of one cylinder, then upon the top of two, and afterwards of three, four, five and six, until it remained balanced upon the top of them all, elevated several feet from the ground, and with its four feet collected upon a single point without throwing down the disjointed fabric upon which it stood. The practice is very ancient. Nothing can show more strikingly the tenacious footing possessed by this quadruped upon the jutty points and crags of rocks; and the circumstance of its ability to remain thus poised may render its appearance less surprising, as it is sometimes seen in the Alps, and in all mountainous countries, with hardly any place for its feet, upon the sides and by the brink of most tremendous precipices. The diameter of the upper cylinder, on which its feet ultimately remained until the Arab had ended his ditty, was only two. inches, and the length of each cylinder was six inches."

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