Monday, 10 May 2010

Reindeer, second

Another reindeer outing could happen that day, or week, or the next, or another, and finally, it happened. This time, it was about leading the flock, a few hundreds at a time, into the fence, in order to lasso and mark the spring-born calves before migrating for the summer to the coastal area.

We ended up helping Inga's family in their tasks in the fence, carrying wood posts before the herd comes and then helping to carry more or less cooperative calves into a smaller pen (which could mean from dragging them by the antlers, the tail or the front legs to actually carry them up all the way, as the mysterious and unnamed Man from the Forest used to show off).

Standing among the reindeer was incredible; the shy animals, never straying too far from each other, reacted as a single living mass to our voices and moves, streaming around us in an almost continuous flow; only the muffled sound of their hooves on the soft snow and the distant ringing of their bells.

No pictures of our feat, though, nor of the sunset seen through the rising cloud of dust and heat: my camera's batteries died halfway through.

The fence is perhaps 20 minutes away from our place by car.


The herd is coming


Little time for words; it was a busy weekend, with campfires and grilled reindeer meat and marshmallows and rides in party cars and drinking games, and it will be a busy Monday, with a lesson in the morning, a visit to the centre for indigenous rights and our first duodji (handicraft) lesson in the evening.

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