ISLAMABAD: A ‘billy goat’ in Taxila has become a local crowd-puller after it started producing milk.
Given the knack Pakistanis have of attributing any unusual occurrences to the hand of God, the buck is being called a “miracle” to attract tourists.
The owner, auto mechanic Raja Jamshed, had bought the goat for Rs26,000 to sacrifice on Eidul Azha. He did not initially notice the “unique characteristics” of the animal. In fact, he only learnt of this when a local jeweller, Ijaz Ahmed Khan, visited his shop on Museum Road in Taxila and offered to milk the ‘doe’ he saw in front of him. Upon noticing that ‘she’ was also a ‘he’, Khan immediately offered to pay Rs500,000 for the goat. But a confused Jamshed refused the offer, saying that he will sacrifice the goat himself.
The goat also has an elitist air to it, refusing to eat fodder, grass or coarse food, and only accepting fruit, including apples, grapes and pomegranates.
Jamshed, who feeds the goat around five kilos of fruit every day, says that when he bought the goat and offered it fodder and grass, it refused to eat and started losing weight. Finally, he bought fruit, which the goat ate lavishly.
The difficulty in ascertaining the goat’s gender also stirred controversy among locals who came to see the goat, with arguments erupting over whether or not the animal was halal. Jamshed then consulted local religious leaders, who said that the animal had no defects and could be sacrificed.
Although rare, many male mammals including humans have been reported to produce milk, with documented cases of male animals feeding their offspring when the mother or another suitable female was not available.
With Eid just around the corner, whether the Taxila buck’s body was responding to needs of a nearby kid, or if it just wanted to learn what life as a doe was like, are questions that may never be answered.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2013.