Maes Howe talks about her daughter Hetty Pegler


I’m standing in Home Field with all the girls – Callanish, Doll Tor, Long Meg, Tenbury Wells, Merrivale and this year’s cria Stanton Drew and my own Hetty Pegler. Ringsbury, Silbury, Brodgar and Stenness are with us which makes a pleasant change. They are acting as ‘father figures’ and a good influence to Long Meg’s son Stanton Drew. It’s very good for a young chap to see older males and the interaction is so useful for Stanton Drew. He now understands how male llamas are meant to act, to be respectful of authority, and to treat the female llamas properly.


Meanwhile Avebury is on duty as an older uncle with my dear Croft Ambrey and Long Meg’s Kennett. They love having an older llama with them and he is a good uncle.


Stanton Drew was a bit of a trial for the herd and our people until about two weeks ago. I suppose he was immature. He’s a very confident boy and was always hugely interested in what we llamas or our people were doing. When he would pester our dear people they would get annoyed and tell him to get lost, but he would still get too close. Of course, natural curiosity is fine and Hetty Pegler is a normal curious llama. But Stanton Drew was just too much and was always following us around and, frankly, getting on our nerves. And then a friendly two-leg suggested to our people that they should use a water spray on the boy. When Stanton Drew got too close our people said ‘NO’ and squirted him with water. The youngster would walk away, but sometimes come back a short while later. Another firm ‘NO’ and a squirt would follow. After a few days, Stanton Drew stopped walking up to our people when he saw they had a spray in their hand. He stopped bothering our people and we are all really pleased. Our people called it a water pistol. I’d like one so I can clear a way to the manger to reach the hay. Perhaps I should ask our people if they could let me have one?


As I stand here in the late Autumn sunshine I look at my gorgeous daughter Hetty Pegler who is my greatest joy. I know I’m biased but I really think she’s growing up to be a lovely girl. She’s not too needy and doesn’t pester me for milk too often, and is often off grazing or eating hay with everyone. Of course, her great playmate is Stanton Drew and it makes me so happy seeing them gallivant around the field in the sun. The cria play with the older llamas too and a couple of days ago I say Brodgar being chased by both of them. They had decided to climb the Andean peak in Home Field but Brodgar wanted to be the tallest llama so a (fairly) friendly battle started. The ruckus was gentle – Brodgar knows he’ll have me to answer to if he hurts my daughter, so when she rose up and playfully charged into him, he was restrained and only gently pushed her away.


The wind has blown all the leaves off the trees and we like to eat these as they have more flavour than the tired old grass. On the farm we have lots of apple trees and our people don’t manage to eat all the apples themselves. They let us have the windfalls and now in early December we are allowed to crunch and munch away at the apples. The pears aren’t so tasty as they are dry and aren’t eaten by our people. Apparently they are used for making perry which people like to drink. I like water best.


Hetty Pegler is usually one of the first llamas to decide where we are going to spend some time. She makes her way to the field gate and walks up to the yard with Long Meg, Stanton Drew and Merrivale. She’s happy to eat the hay which we have in the yard, but the young ones aren’t really feeding on the cereal mix we adults are fed. But if she leads us up to the yard it’s a good thing as we will be seen by our people who will probably give us a little cereal or hay.


My Hetty Pegler is such a pretty thing. She is a lovely mid to dark brown with the traces of the black stripe she was born with on her back, and beautiful black head and feet. Her nose is growing out (our people call it ‘de-concertina-ing’, whatever that is) and she has the most sensational ears I’ve seen in a young llama. I think she’ll be quite a head-turner for the boys.


More llama chat from Old King Street Farm soon


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