Now and again this king, whose name does not matter, would mount a ring-streaked
horse and ride scores of miles to Simlatown to confer with the lieutenant-governor on matters of state, or assure the viceroy that his sword was at the service of the queen-empress.
And he met Thibetan herdsmen with their dogs and flocks of sheep, each sheep with a little bag of borax on his back, and wandering wood-cutters, and cloaked and blanketed Lamas from Thibet, coming into India on pilgrimage, and envoys of little solitary Hill-states, posting furiously on ring-streaked
and piebald ponies, or the cavalcade of a Rajah paying a visit; or else for a long, clear day he would see nothing more than a black bear grunting and rooting below in the valley.
"Is our birthright and heritage to be ring-streaked
, speckled and spotted not with the spangling marks of grace where beauty rained down from eternity, but with the blotched assaults and quarryings of time?" asks Annie Dillard.