Stenness' Diary 12-12-12
Hello All. I’d like to talk about ears. Llama ears are v. important. They let us hear the call ‘Llamas Llamas’ when our people want us to make our way up to the barn for food and to meet new people. Ears also give us first warning of a disturbance that the cria need to know about – perhaps a fox in the undergrowth, or a flock of gentle woolly sheep wandering over a distant hill
A llama’s ears are usually long with a curve – people call them ‘banana ears’ which is a bit strange. No-one says I have banana ears because mine are bent over at the tip. They are very hairy and the rain gets in. It’s not a problem, but sometimes I do rather admire really good ears like my bro Brodgar has. His are splendid.
We are pretty sensitive about our ears being handled by people, and usually a llama will shake his head if a person (especially a doctor) tries to touch our ears. This is why, when we let people put our halters on us, we like you to put your arm and the halter around our necks, rather than over the top of our heads, so you don’t touch our ears.
Because I’m such an amenable chap, I’m really tolerant, and often little people will touch and stroke my ears when I’m lying down. But I’m unusually calm and gentle and I love children. They think of me as a big woolly teddy bear.
And then there are peoples’ ears. Most people have their ears on the sides of their heads which we think looks very funny, but occasionally a two-leg will turn up at the farm with her ears sensibly placed on top of her head. I think this is a good design. Much better hearing from up high, I say. Recently, my very good friend Judy trekked with us. Judy has very sensible ears on top of her head. My nephew, Rollright, looked a little uncertain at first, but he soon realised Jaguar-ears-Judy was gentle and calm.
Another very good reason to have brilliant hearing is that we always know when the Exmoor ponies on Ewyas Harold Common are around. You should see our people taking us out with their side ears straining to listen for the Exmoors. If they had properly located ears like mine, they would know when we’re about to enter a glade and find them. Here’s a picture Brodgar’s best mate Nadia took of the Exmoors. Brod told Normal-ears-Nadia the ponies were sneaking up on us and she spun round and took it.
As you can see we had a lovely day out – glorious weather, clear, clean air and we could see for miles. Ewyas Harold Common is wonderful. It’s always nice showing people our local countryside – it’s so beautiful here, we love to share it. Our new friends will come back next year to see us again.
Our own people like to occasionally spring surprises on us (but having good hearing, we normally know what they’re about in good time). A rumour is going through the herd that this year’s festive trek will mean someone has to wear reindeer antlers. Strewth! Past experience suggests it will be me having to humour the two legs by clamping the daft things onto my head, but if it keeps our people happy, who am I to object? I expect you’ll see a photo of me wearing antlers.
More news from Golden Valley Llamas soon