Ringsbury’s Diary

When we were all mooching about on the green, some of us having the
occasional nibble – mown grass is tastier than rank, long stuff – quite
a few people from the village came up to talk to us.  There were lots of
children about.  A couple of tourists who were staying in a bed and breakfast in the village joined in with the group and we all happily
walked off the playing field and waited for a group photo outside the
churchyard.  By this time Maes Howe and Ann were so far away on the far
side of the pitch, that they straggled in a bit late for their picture.

We walked in line through the churchyard which is really lovely – I`ve
not been there before – and passed the shop, both pubs and fish and chip
shop.  Villagers were particularly pleased to see us and Silbury trotted
along on his pins.

A bit further up the road, he decided he`d like to pop in and see one of
our near-neighbours.  Here he is introducing himself.  I think he`s
eyeing up the sprigs of holly around the door, but Silbury knows this
isn`t the best food for a llama.

We congregated outside Prill Farm, and then strolled back up the hill to
Old King Street Farm.  We had a bit of rosemary from a bush in the
garden (good for a llama`s guts, you know), and were then led into the
yard where all ten of us were un-haltered in the pen.  Feeding mix to
ten hungry llamas must be difficult for the two-legs I know, but they do
make a bit of a meal of it and when they insist on holding the full
dipper high above our heads there is bound to be a little playful
jostling for food.  But we all got some and thought the two-legs were
going to stand around and admire us like they always do, but this time
they bolted for the house, where rumour had it, the stove had mulled
cider on it and there were little nibbles to eat.

A lovely llama trek for ten llamas and twenty people.

But that wasn`t all we did over the holiday period.

The very nice Richards family were staying in one of our peoples`
holiday cottages, and we took them out for a walk a couple of days

No one likes walking through mud and we`re no exception to this.  At the
moment we tend to have a routine of coming up to the barn and yard late
in the evening, sleeping on the mats in the barn, and after breakfast
the next day, strolling down the run to our field.  Once there, we stay
for several hours.  Now, our people know this, and don`t want to splash
across the fields to fetch us, so bribe us with some hay in the morning,
and when our backs are turned shut us in the yard.  This morning was
like this, and we didn`t have to play the game of coming when called.

It hadn`t rained overnight and as our fur was dry, the family was able
to groom us.  This is useful because we get to meet them properly before
we start llama trekking, and people have a chance to understand us and
we get to know a bit more about them.  We boys do most of the trekking,
and we take most of the grooming.  We have the full five minutes,
whereas the girls are only given a quick once-over to keep them used to
being handled.  There was a demonstration of a llama `giving` his foot
on command, which is a bit of a cheek, but I suppose it has a point.
Then we were off!

On a dry Winter`s Day Ewyas Harold Common is a wonderful place to be.
There are a few trees at this time of year that are absolutely covered
in mistletoe which the two legs seem to like for some reason.  I can`t
understand it myself.  Mistletoe isn`t something we can eat, so where`s
the interest in that?

The two legs say we are particularly good when we`ve been out a few
times in quick succession, and this was my third walk of the week.  I
loved it.  The Richards` girls walked with Stenness and Avebury who are
gentle souls (when they`re away from food), and the parents walked with
Silbury and me.  Special training was reserved for Brodgar who had his
usual five minutes of making a fuss before settling down, being the best
of llamas and walking happily at the front with our own people.  The
family were entertained by the humming some of us make.

We took a lovely walk around the Common, and then made our way down the
slope.  The first of winter snowdrops were already out as we passed
garden, and I expect they will carpet the banks again this winter.

On arriving home there was still a bit to show our new friends.  We need
to have our halters and ropes removed and this was done by gently easing
the halter off our delicate noses, holding us for a little while and
then releasing us.  We know what comes next – Food, Food, Food, and the
two legs held our dippers for us as we ate the cereal mix.

This time we all stood around in the yard for a little bit, and then we five llamas decided to go and join the female llamas in our field, so we
ambled down the slope and greeted the rest of my herd.

It was a wonderful few days and we look forward to going out for more
llama treks soon.


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