Ringsbury's Diary 22-02-10
I am finally receiving the respect I deserve. Now that I am 6 our dear people have decided that there is important work for me to do involving young Stanton Drew. You see, Stanton Drew is a young chap in a herd of older females – his mother Long Meg and all the aunties - plus Merrivale and little Hetty Pegler. He’s a bit of a Prince and as such hasn’t always shown respect to his elders and betters. It’s not that he’s a bad little chap – Oh no – it’s just that he needs an older male llama to keep an eye on him.
I’ve spent the last couple of months with my girls, protecting them, and acting as a benevolent but firm and fair uncle to young Stanton Drew. Every so often a young chap gets a bit above himself and decides to be just that little bit too irritating. I generally find that by standing, or even just lying within eyeballing distance of the young ‘un that it calms him down.
His tail arches over his back, the neck sags into that tell-tale U-bend, the eyes look anywhere but at ME, and order is restored. I think everyone appreciates it when I look askance at the Little Tyke. It’s good for a young llama to have respect for the more mature llamas in the herd.
And talking about respect, just this minute we’ve had a visit from a neighbour’s dog. Now, dogs are not the best of friends with llamas, but there were nine of us in the yard when dog approached our gate so all was well. He had his master with him who told him to stay the other side of the yard gate, but dog wanted to see us. Quite made me jump as I’d not seen him at first, and I was mooching about in the yard. Then, Long Meg set up an alarm call and the five or six girls around the manger bolted into the yard and straight towards the gate. Dog was poking his nose under the gate but didn’t dare set foot in the yard. Llamas are splendid guard animals and protect anything and everything in our herd – so we bond with sheep or lambs or ducks or hens if they are in our field and so chase off any stray visitor. Dog was wise and stayed the other side of the gate. That’s not to say that dogs are a bad thing – we know Gus down the road from us and he always barks when the boys take a llama trek past his house, but it’s just a friendly greeting and we llamas are happy to know him.
Long Meg does protect Stanton Drew, so whenever she sees a dog or passing cat, she’s keen to make sure that she sees it off. She’s very interested in cats and always watches where they go. Me? I’m not fussed by cats. I’ve seen them around for years and I realise a small cat isn’t such a serious threat. I mean, look at the size of them. What could they do to a llama, even a youngster like Stanton Drew. Do you know, I think that Long Meg can’t quite tell the size of a cat, and she’s worried that the ordinary house cats we see round the farm are possible pumas. I don’t think so, Meg!
More from Golden Valley Llamas soon.