Maes Howe’s Diary
I’ve not written to you before. My name is Maes Howe and I will be the last of the female llamas at Old King Street Farm to have a birthday this year. I’ll be two years old on 30th September. Talking of birthdays, we’ve just had a visit from a two-legged birthday girl. Maddie was six this weekend and as a special treat she came with her parents to stay in one of the cottages here at the farm. Though she’s a youngster, she is an ‘old hand’ at handling llamas and two years ago she was walking with Avebury on the end of his lead rope. Even now I’m much bigger than Maddie, but that didn’t matter at all as I’m a very good-natured llama who takes an interest in all that’s going on around me, whilst walking at a sensible slow pace just behind the person I’m walking with.
Five of us went for a little llama trek around the fields at our farm. What was very special for us was that all the boys were locked in the yard and the five girls went for a walk. The boys were pretty jealous, but we didn’t care as we were having fun. Brodgar thought about climbing out of the yard and joining us, but Ringsbury told him not to, and that our people wouldn’t be happy if he did. Brodgar can be quite naughty.
Doll Tor walked in front, and she was followed by Callanish. Then I came along, and after me the two youngsters, Long Meg and Tenbury Wells skipped behind. Just like people have different personalities, we are all different. We might be very excited at the start of a walk, but calm down as we get into our stride. Doll Tor and I were very calm from the beginning and I like to think, set a pretty good example to the others. Callanish was also very happy and half way round the first field was walking quietly. Because we stopped a few times, we were all able to have a nibble at some grass and from the branches of the hazel and elm trees around the lake.
Now, we haven’t yet been allowed in this field full-time as our people want a bit more fencing in it to protect the reed bed from us – as if we would go and eat something we weren’t supposed to – but the lake does look fun. On our first farm, Doll Tor used to swim in the lake. She would climb out, and roll around in the earth and brush against the trees and look a right mess. I’m looking forward to seeing her doing that here where we now live.
It was a short walk, just the right length for two and four-legged youngsters, and back in the yard we had a bit of a treat. Our people cut some branches off ash and hazel trees and put them in our yard for us to nibble on. We like a variety in our diets. Stenness and Callanish liked crunching up the hazel nuts and chewing them, but I wasn’t so keen – I preferred the lovely green leaves.