Croft Ambrey’s First Diary and the Christmas Walk

Now that I’m a big boy, our people have decided I should be able to wear a llama halter. That’s me on the right with the bright orange halter on. Last month I went off the farm with my mother for the first time.
It was very exciting and I was quite calm. Let me tell you all about the training we’ve been doing at Old King Street Farm.

Right from the start, our people have handled me, and pretty much every day for the first five weeks they spent one to two minutes standing by me and rubbing my back and neck. They moved their hands over my chest and touched my head and ears and even moved their hands around my mouth, and touched my teeth and inside of my mouth with their fingers. They felt my tail, under my tail and down my legs, and then it was all over for another day. Very easy. Because they did this from the start, it felt natural, and my mother was always with me.

After about four weeks they showed me a rope which they put round my neck. Not so easy this and it took a bit of getting used to. Then the bright orange halter. They thought and I thought it was going well when
they first had my halter on me, but the third time they tried it, they stepped back to give me space and I leapt in the air and crashed back down to the ground. My mother hummed a lot. So, a bit more encouragement and the halter didn’t go back on for a week. By that stage I didn’t mind and I’ve worn it for a minute or so, every week since.

When I was about three months old, my mother and I walked around the yard being shown the way by our people. This was quite easy, but we sometimes went out of sight of the rest of the herd and this was a bit
strange and made my worry a bit. We did this once a month for three months.

Then a few weeks ago, mother and I were haltered and taken out of the yard and out of sight of Ringsbury and the rest of the herd. Our people took us to their sitting area in front of their home. They sat and held our ropes. I was a bit scared, but my mother was with me, and she happily chewed on the long, lush green grass.

It was a success, so last week our people haltered us up again and we went for my first ‘llama trek’ off the farm. We didn’t go very far, just past where Pepsi the stud llama lives, and we ended up visiting a young person called Chloe who lives just down the hill from us. My mother tells me, it was Chloe who named me, and if I think back to when I was born, I think I can remember a family visiting me, to see the first born at the farm. Chloe held my rope for a while and I was
officially ‘as good as gold’ whatever that means. Only one very fast car passing by made me jump.

Then home again, which I was pleased to do, because I wanted to be back with the other llamas. They were waiting for us at the gate. Mother and I were penned again and had our halters removed. Apparently I was a ‘Good Boy’ several times over.

Our people have a thing they call Christmas, and what this means is that lots of people turn up at the farm so we can look at them, and then we all go off for a walk. Well, this was my first real llama trek and it was great. Our people hoped I’d be good and actually I was. What we did was stand quietly in the pen whilst the people put our halters on and groomed us, then we set off on a walk through Ewyas Harold. Merrivale and Kennett had to stay behind as they are just babies. I
stayed close to my mother. You can see us walking on the playing fields in the village. It was a short walk – something to do with ‘blowing the cobwebs away’ whatever that means. We were soon home again and I was able to tell the two youngsters all about it. They’ll be out and about soon, I expect.

One of our holiday cottages at the farm had some returning guests staying in it over the New Year. The Richards wanted to take a llama trek, so senior llama trekkers Silbury, Avebury, Brodgar and Stenness
escorted them on a ramble through the village, up a hill, over something they call a cattle grid (don’t know what that is), and over the expanses of the Common. Apparently I’ll be doing this myself one day which
sounds interesting. When they got back, I heard Silbury and Brodgar muttering that Stenness had spent the whole trip humming, and that Avebury joined in when they were on the last leg to home.

You’ll hear more about the llamas at Old King Street Farm soon.

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