I’m writing this as I’m getting ready to leave our hosts in Delhi and head for the airport for the flight to Imphal and on to Haipi village and Emmanuel School. We were in Delhi for little more than 36 hours, but there was much upon which to reflect, although here’s something trivial to be going on with. This is that I noticed three unusual examples of animal life.

1) Although we see a number if dogs in British streets, they are almost always on leads with their owners taking them for their walks. It is unusual to see stray dogs in the UK, but in Delhi there were many. People didn’t seem to take much notice of the dogs and the feeling seemed mutual as the strays lay down wherever they fancied and often in the middle of very busy public spaces. Most seemed reasonably cheerful, as best as one could tell, although I noticed the odd hangdog expression.

2) I remember some years ago having a mildly heated discussion in America with a local who insisted a particular bird was a robin, when it clearly wasn’t. We ended up looking through a book of American birds which proved us both right. The bird was a robin – or at least it was an American robin, which apparently is different from a British robin. I mention this because I had a similar discussion in a park in Delhi with someone who insisted an animal was a squirrel, when it was neither a Red Squirrel, nor a Grey Squirrel and was, in fact, a chipmunk. It had a stripy  back and a thinner tail than a squirrel and looked just like Alvin, of Alvin and Chipmunks. It was also my first chipmunk.

3) I’ve saved the best to last. Coming out of the metro station and looking for a café I looked up and saw a large monkey sitting on a brick gatepost. It seemed to be on its own and not part of a troop and was acting as if on guard duty, looking down its nose at passers-by. This was my first ‘street’ monkey and a fine one it was too. Picture possibly to follow.

Other less animal-related reflections to follow – Wi-Fi permitting.

**STOP PRESS**

Having arrived in Imphal, Manipur State, I can add to list of animals on my I-Spy list as we had to swerve to avoid a number of herds of ‘stray’ cows and a few feral horses. The house where we are staying also has a flock of geese, a rather handsome cockerel and three noisy pigs.