BHAKTAPUR, Nepal — I was wrong.
Spotting chickens on the streets of Bhaktapur made me think of how animals in public places no longer merit surprise.
The sound of a bleating goat wasn’t the most uncommon thing to hear in my surroundings, so I almost didn’t turn to look. But when I did, I saw some commotion as a woman appeared to be comforting the goat, which didn’t seem to be in pain or stressed. Its bleats held the usual humanlike tones, though not any more agitated than other goats I’d encountered.
The goat wasn’t interested in whatever the woman — its owner, perhaps? — was doing. It soon trotted off, away from the three people standing by, one with a bicycle.
The nanny goat hopped on to the nearby sidewalk and looked aft, where two small hooves protruded from its birth canal.
Soon, passers-by stopped to help. Though I didn’t see the wisdom of trying to tie the goat in labor to the bike frame, the humans persisted. But physics have a way of not cooperating when a poorly thought-out plan meets with gravity and balance.
Mercifully, the strapping of the goat didn’t work, and within a couple of minutes the woman simply hoisted the animal across her back and carried it off into the sunset.
I kid you not.