Tintagel on the 2017 North Somerset Agricultural Show 02-05-17
We gels know what we like. And just as importantly, we gels know what we don’t like. And sometimes we gels give out very mixed messages.
It’s one of those ‘early start’ days. The Two Legs have been busying themselves preparing the chariot and on Sunday they hitched my regal conveyance to the serf-mobile and towed it out of the yard. We know full well what this means – we’re off to a Show, Beauty Parade, Pageant, Party, Festival or Whatever-You-Would-Like-To-Call-It-But-I-Prefer-The-Accurate-‘Catwalk-Carnival’.
Early-Start Monday dawns and rather than make it hard on the old dears we came up to the yard nice and early and put ourselves in the pen to make it really easy for them to halter us. The only question was ‘Who is going?’ and this time it was me and my Tinty Team. That’s Me, Ann Howe, Hazelton and Loupin Stanes. Halters on, an easy load into the chariot and an hour and a half later, arriving in time for me to strut my stuff at Tyntesfield or Tinty’s Field as I think the National Trust now call it.
I’m always very pleased to meet my sisters at these events and it was jolly nice to see lovely Belas Knap and Mulfra Quoit. I like them lots and walking around the parade ring and passing them gave me a chance to hum a greeting. What I was less happy about was the usual – next door were the snorting oinkers. I can’t stand pigs. They really get up my nose and put me right off my stride.
Now, the point of the Catwalk Carnival is for us llamas to look as good as we possibly can, isn’t it? I mean, you Two Legs arrange these things, and time and again you place the lovely llamas next to the ‘orrible oinkers. What’s going on? I mean, poor Loupin had to walk around the ring and every circuit pass by the neighbouring snuffling trufflers. No fun!
And then there were the boys to get by. Well, this is not so hard for a 21-month old. She’s not experienced in the ways of the world. But the boys didn’t know that and they thought she looked very attractive indeed!
Right, I thought to myself. I’ll give those boys a piece of my mind. When it came to my turn in the Catwalk Carnival, I side-stepped my way past the pigs then set about the boys. I snorted, I grew tall, clucked and challenged them, and showed them what’s what. I thought my what’s what would make them back down, but strangely, it only got them more interested. Two Leg dragged me past the boys, and distracted, I saw young Loupin at the far end of the walk and trotted happily towards her.
Then, another circuit. Pigs, who I swerved past again and onto the boys. Snort. Tall. Cluck. Challenge. What’s What. All the other gels in the ring had varying degrees of difficulty with the pigs and the boys, but none as much as me. And truth to tell, I really rather like playing up like this. Two Legs like a llama with a bit of spirit and anyway, I wasn’t being ‘Naughty’ or ‘A Bad Girl’ you understand, just expressing my opinion.
My Two Leg was pretty chuffed when I won a blue rosette for first place in the older female llama class. Very nice too. But winning a class means you have to do it All Over Again. And do you know, Big Boy Biggles who I’d been clucking at and I entered the ring with the other class winners to see who would be judged prettiest or handsomest. Well, my prettiness outdid Biggles’ handsomeness, so I have a new large blue and white rosette and North Somerset Agricultural Show Supreme Champion 2017 on it.
One last parade around the ring showing off to all the llamas and Two Legs and then back to my pen well away from those nasty pigs and rather attractive boys.
We were all given food – the really good stuff that keeps our coats all shiny – and the tasty hay nets came out so we could really tuck in.
Llama shows are interesting places because there are lots of llamas (obviously) but also lots and lots of dogs (not so keen on them) and lots and lots and lots of people approaching us to stroke our coats and talk to us and find out general llama information. Our people like to yak on for hours about llamas which I understand – we are the superior animal after all.
A very lovely afternoon, and then a rush to get packed as a storm threatened. Into the chariot and the return drive to our lovely Herefordshire home. I wonder if I’ll see Biggles again?
More news from Golden Valley Llamas soon