Maes Howe talks about Sancho


Spit, spat, spit, spat, chest-charge.

Spit, spat, spit, spat, chest-charge.


And so, the minor disputes of our llama herd are resolved.


It’s normally the boys who go in for all that rough housing and we usually placid and gentle girls are content to stand and graze with our sisterhood.


But I’m a bit ashamed.  I let the sorority down last week.  What happened was this…



As you know, we girls are being given a ‘year off’ from having lovely llama babies so our bodies have time to take a breather from being pregnant.  Splendid Pepsi was father to five youngsters here at Golden Valley Llamas, and 12 months ago it was time for him to move onto another farm.  Last month our dear people decided to bring in another male llama who would be father to all our babies over the next two years.


The new llama was temporarily housed at the farm of friends of our people.  He spent a few weeks with dear old Tenbury Wells and her delightful daughter Merrivale, but it seems he fell ill there.  We’re really not sure what happened, but our new and very lovely doctor came to visit ‘Sancho’ when he was brought here.  Sancho was dizzy.  It was a neuorol, newro…it was something to do with the nerves to his head.  I remember hearing my people talk about ‘a vestibular condition’, whatever that is.  Apparently Sancho was most likely to have hit his head or to have had listeria which can be picked up anywhere.  Both are serious, but the treatment is the same for both.  For two and a half weeks doc came over every second day and gave Sancho a couple of jabs.  A slow improvement.


Our people were up all hours.  One of the problems Sancho had was that he had difficulty eating and drinking because putting his head down to graze meant he felt dizzier.  So, our people stayed with Sancho and fed him.  We wondered who this most lazy of llamas was that he would wait as our people walked up to him with a little wad of hay wrapped in clover and placed it in his mouth.  They would encourage the chap to eat, and kept firing syringes of water into his mouth to lubricate the food.


Sometimes they sat with him as he chewed the cud (always a good sign), but sometimes Sancho was too weary to eat.  Sancho was more and more stable on his pins and eventually spent hour upon hour standing near the fence line.  It was at this point that Long Meg and I behaved in a most unladylike manner.  We saw Sancho and the urge to mate was strong:


‘I saw him first’.

‘No, he’s mine’.

Spit, spat.

‘I don’t care, I want to see the new stud, NOW!’


Spit, spat, spit, spat.

‘Stop parading on the top of that hill!’


Spit, spat, spit, spat, chest-charge.


We were so keen to show off to Sancho, I suppose we girls didn’t really notice poor Sancho was ill.  And he WAS ill.  He fell over and bumped his eye, tumbled into a fence so our people had to cut him out of the wire and stumbled a few more times so he cut his legs.  As one sign improved, others developed and very suddenly Sancho stopped eating.  Our lovely doctor was with our people when Sancho died and it was the right time.


So, we never got to meet Sancho properly and we girls are still very frustrated.  BUT, our people have been out into the fields with us and have told us about a splendid new fellow who will be coming to the farm in the next few days.  I’m REALLY EXCITED, as I so want another baby llama next year.  I hope Long Meg and I will show more decorum this time:


‘No, after you, Maes Howe’.

‘I insist.  You go and see the stud, Long Meg’,

‘Age before Beauty, Maes Howe’.

Hmmm, could be interesting.


And later in the year my daughter Hetty Pegler will take her turn to spend time with the new stud.  I’m sure she would like a little cria next year too.


Young Marden had her first birthday this week and she’s far too young to breed, but one day she will be ready to give birth to some splendid future trekking llamas here at Old King Street Farm.


More news from Golden Valley Llamas soon.


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