Maes Howe’s Diary

Last month I gave birth to a beautiful baby llama cria. His name is Croft Ambrey. The herd have been very interested to meet him and now that he’s growing up he spends time with all the llamas and entertains
himself / annoys them variously. He has grown well in the last month, and retains his grey coat, though with a slight over-covering of brown, and his socks are a lighter grey. Silbury kindly pointed out that my boy has a spotty nose just like me.

They say that youngsters learn by watching older llamas going about their daily business, so when we are called in for food, Croft Ambrey comes with us even though he can’t eat any cereal yet. Grazing the
grass and clover is one of the things he does practice, and he visits the dung pile just like the rest of us. Bonding with his aunties is important and he’s taken a particular shine to his Aunt Callanish. When she climbs the hillock in the field, he’ll often go with her, and then
proceed to jump on her, nibble her lip and be generally, well, a little irritating. I’m fine about this – I love him dearly, but it’s best if he shares some of his youthful exuberance around.

I don’t think our people could be annoyed with him – she is besotted with my boy – and spends one minute a day conditioning my cria for later life with rubbing and touching all over his little body. She picks up his tiny feet, and rubs his legs, and works her hands around to his head and mouth. Our people have even shown the little one a tiny llama halter, and he does look gorgeous in it.

Then again, maybe they could be a little annoyed – Croft Ambrey has already learned the splendid trick of Eating the Building! Apparently our people don’t like it when we chew on their clap-board office, so we do it all the time to get their attention. Great fun! My boy was spotted the other day copying big Uncle Ringsbury as he chewed on the planks. He looked at Ringsbury as he took another mouthful of teeth
cleaning and sharpening wood, and trotted up to the lowest plank and had a little nibble. My cria has tiny teeth, but they are VERY sharp, and frankly, I’d rather it if Ringsbury didn’t show Croft Ambrey how to
sharpen them.

And another thing – my position in the herd has changed. I used to be a quiet, shy llama, who wouldn’t say ‘boo’ to a goose, but now, I have a
status, and everyone treats me with a bit more respect. ‘Oo, mind out everyone, make room for Maes Howe’ as I make my way majestically to where the foodie treats are proffered….

Our people have been busy this week with something called the Herefordshire Walking Festival, which apparently means that each weekend twenty or so two-legs show up at the farm, look at us (we look at them), feed, halter and groom us (we let them feed, halter and groom us), and then the boys take the two-legs off for a nice stroll. (That is, the Big Boys – Croft Ambrey stayed home with his mum). They had bright
sunny weather and a great walk up onto Ewyas Harold Common. All the two-legs behaved – no one got lost, or was too noisy, or tried to cuddle the boys too much (though Brodgar and Stenness allowed a few neck strokes!).

It’s called a Walking Festival, but it could be a Chatting about Llamas Festival as our people LOVE talking about us. So, if you visit Golden Valley Llamas and are asked ‘Where do llamas come from?’ DON’T say ‘The
Farm’, because our female person won’t allow that. (Strikes me as the correct answer, but what do I know?). No, you are meant to say: ‘Peru’, or ‘Bolivia’, or something like that. (Very confusing for a llama this
– I’m sure I remember being born in Devon?).

More llama chat soon.

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