The joy of yaks

The Mongolian taiga After driving across clean, fast rivers and through forests turning golden, orange and red in the Mongolian autumn, we came upon herds of yaks grazing the taiga. The yak, or Tartary ox, is the Shetland pony of cattle, as drawn by Norman Thelwell: not much higher than a big ram at the withers, with a low-slung, fat body, an overcoat of long, shaggy hair, a woolly head and a dangling mop of a tail. The herd we alighted from our car to see was being driven down from wooded slopes by a youth riding his pony bareback, whistling and singing. As the yaks, all white and brown