Silbury’s Diary – at the Newbury Show

Earlier in the summer, I had to oversee Brodgar and Stenness at a show and make sure they behaved themselves. There were pigs Everywhere. We were plonked next to the pig arena, and every half hour or so a new breed of pig would be brought out for their beauty contest (Ha ha ha, what’s the point?), and naturally enough I needed to warn the young chaps about these unusual pink and bald, but strangely four-legged things. So I set off my alarm call (strangled peacock, yes I know), and people laughed at me. Can you believe it? Trying to protect the herd, and all I get is ridicule. Go off the farm, never seen a pig before, and I’m scared. Now though, I know all about the pink snufflers as I’ve just had a second meeting with them and have been persuaded they’re not so bad after all. I’ll tell you about this later.

Education and knowledge are wonderful things.

We’ve had a busy old weekend. Two treks AND a trip out to the Royal County of Berkshire Show at Newbury. Let me tell you all about them…

On Friday, Avebury, Stenness and I took a walk around the fields at Old King Street Farm. We showed a couple of new people the lake and in the fine weather with so many blue dragonflies skimming across the water, it was a real pleasure to be able to let our guests see the farm. There are always so many questions and, of course, there was a chance to show off the herd’s three cria which people always seem to like, though personally I can take or leave youngsters.

Then on the Saturday, Brodgar, Stenness, Avebury and I took two adult and two younger people out llama trekking over Ewyas Harold Common. We fascinated them naturally, and I think they rather fell in love with us. Brodgar and I haven’t always seen eye to eye – he’s a bit clever for my liking – but he’s matured now and he leads a llama trek really well. I oversaw things from the back of the line and had a very pleasant time with my gentle companion. Late September on the common is delightful. The ferns were growing tall and the ditches had dried out. Everything was so green and lush and tasty-looking, though we only managed to steal the odd mouthful of hedge when a two-leg was looking the other way.

The day continued when Brodgar, Stenness and I stepped smartly into the trailer. We actually rush to it as it means we’re off somewhere exciting. We went for a drive and when we stopped we were at a County Show. Splendid stuff. There were over 30 llamas and alpacas in pens at this place called Newbury – sounds like a cria name to me.

We had a whale of a time. Great fun meeting all these new llamas, though I was a bit put out that that visitor we had at Old King Street Farm last year, Hogle – my niece Merrivale’s father – was there. We had words over the fence and pointed out to each other in no uncertain terms we didn’t like each other. Humph.

So we were all penned for the night ready for the BIG DAY on Sunday when dribs and drabs, trickles and eventually hoards of two-legs came to visit the llamas. People love seeing us, and they can find out all about us by talking to our people. There is literally nothing our dear people love more than talking llama. They nattered on for 9 hours about us and told people all about the llama as a field pet, the llama as a guard animal, llama trekking and llama habits. Two llamas in the pen next to ours had brought their people too and I think I was admired. I returned the compliment by sniffing the peoples’ backs when they weren’t looking.

There were so many people at this Royal County of Berkshire Show. I didn’t know there were that many people in the world. People loved seeing us and they tried to describe the way I look – ‘aloof’ was one word, and ‘haughty’ was another. I stand in the pen just out of reach, but soft boy Stenness always kushes against the railing so people can stroke his neck.

Another good thing that came out of the weekend was that I was cured of my fear of pigs. At that show earlier in the Summer I got a bit upset when the pig judging was taking place next door to my pen. I’d never seen the pink porkers before and they upset me, but this time I was allowed a closer inspection and decided ‘pigs are okay’ so I stopped alarm calling every time I saw them. ‘Challenge the fear’ a two-leg said and I think she was right.

Oh yes, I meant to say, there was one llama with no self-respect whatever – it was wearing a hat. I ask you! Sort of thing I imagine Stenness would do. Another was ringing a bell, and one was pulling a cart. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Goody Four Feet, Golden Boy Stenness said he wouldn’t mind trying some of these things, so I will look on with interest as his training takes shape. There’s no way I’d be seen dead in a hat, and as for harnessed up to pull a cart…..fat chance. I overheard our two-legs talking about these tricks and I’ve a feeling they are going to try to train Stenness, Ha!

The more shows we attend, the easier we find them. We’ve visited three shows this Summer and are totally relaxed about them. You can see how easy it has become – look at Brodgar and Stenness relaxed, kushed and chewing the cud in the pen.

So, a wonderful and busy time for Golden Valley Llamas. More llama chat soon.

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