What a very good weekend we’ve just had. Lots of exercise out in the fresh air and a couple of llama treks with some new friends, both two-legged and four-legged.
On Saturday two cars turned into the yard at Old King Street Farm and out piled nine female two-legs. ‘We’re the hens’ they announced. Funny looking hens we thought. No, just kidding, we know what a hen party is. It’s a group of female two-legs who take lots of llamas for a walk. Sounds good to us. We LOVE going for a llama trek.
So, to get things started, the seven llamas at the farm (remember, three of our girls are off on a Spring holiday), were coaxed into the yard with the usual promise of a nibble of some cereal. Llamas aren’t stupid – we know a bribe when we see one. We looked at the two-legs and the two-legs looked at us. They were happy and we were content to stand and look and gently chew the cud. We strolled into the pen and were fed. Before we were haltered one of the hens picked some loose hay off my backside. I don’t like that and I told her ‘NO’. If it had been a few seconds later and I’d been wearing my halter, I wouldn’t have minded so much. It’s always funny teaching new people how to put our halters on. With our own people we can make things fun by trotting to the other end of the pen, but with new friends we usually stand still on command and allow the haltering to take place. Some of us are more co-operative than others. Tenbury Wells is a little minx who usually manages to get away once or twice, and my older half brother Avebury always thrusts his head high in the air so it’s harder to put his halter on.
But all present and correct, we stood whilst we were groomed. It was a wet weekend, so there wasn’t so much brushing to be done – it’s more a sort of conditioning I suppose. Going through the same routine each time we go on a llama trek means the two-legs learn what they have to do. Repetitive for us, but the two-legs seem to like routine.
The nine hens and five male llamas walked through the farm’s orchard and then onto the road and through the village. For the morning, we’d left our two young female llamas behind as an all day trek would be too much for them. They’re obviously a couple of drips – what’s wrong with a good walk!. We trekked up the hill and onto the common. Ringsbury decided he didn’t want to walk at the back and accelerated up to the head of the line so he could be with his mate Silbury. This caused some excitement as Ringsbury is officially known as ‘ol’ slow coach’ by the rest of us, but he displayed a great turn of speed and I’ve never seen a hen run so fast. He must love Silbury very much.
On the highest part of the common the views are fantastic. I don’t know how good the two-legs’ eyesight is, but ours is brilliant and we can see each blade of grass on the far hillsides. We stopped for a time and lots of photographs were taken. This happens a lot. We can be on a llama trek through a wood, or on a track or wherever, and sure as hay is hay, some two-legs will get out a camera and take picture after picture of us. ‘Stand still Brodgar’; ‘turn around Ringsbury’, ‘put your ears up Silbury’, ‘stop humming Stenness’, or ‘get off my foot Avebury, get off my foot Avebury, get off my FOOT Avebury’ they say, and we usually try to do as the two-legs want.
Then we headed home for a two-legs / four legs lunch and I know ours was the best – we had hay AND cereal. We had a rest in the yard and after a while all the hens came back and told us we were going out for a short llama trek around the fields on the farm. This IS actually rather nice as we have some very good grass and leaves to eat. This time, all seven of us set off with our flock of hens and as soon as we got to the field where the lake is, the herd stopped and ate ate ate grass and clover. Now Tenbury Wells is nervy little thing and normally doesn’t eat on a walk, but this time, for the first time, her two-leg encouraged her to nibble some tasty hazel leaves, and soon she was quietly munching away with Long Meg by her side.
Soon it started to rain. SO WHAT we said, but no, the two legs thought we should all go back home. Back in the pen we showed our new friends how to take our halters off and then we stood around and they stood around and we looked at each other. We had had a lovely day out. Soon we said goodbye and strolled back to our field where we lay down and rested.
The day after, Stenness and I were off AGAIN on a different sort of llama trek. This time we traveled in the trailer. We went to meet 12 other llamas and their people for a walk in some strange flat countryside. What we did was walk around some woods, tracks and fields. It was wet. It was very wet. Stenness’ ears are bent backwards and he got rain in them, ha ha, but I didn’t let him hear me laughing – well he couldn’t, his ears were full of water.
It is great meeting new llama friends and this time it was particularly good because there were a couple of llamas there from the farm where our three girls, Callanish, Doll Tor and Maes Howe are currently enjoying their Spring break. Our girls have gone away to get pregnant. They are very well and are spending most of their time together as a mini-herd of three. It was good to have the news as we really weren’t sure what was happening.
So, a shortish walk in heavy rain and then a two-hour drive home again. We were a bit tired at the end of the weekend, but it had been great.
More llama chat soon.