Stanton Drew describes a trek
My new best young mate Libby took me out for a walk the other day. We had a lovely time together. She was very affectionate and hugged me lots. Now, llamas don’t generally take to being cuddled – you should see Silbury’s reaction when people put their arms around his neck – ears back and he drops his head a little lower. No, Silbury appreciates people when they are on the other end of a lead rope. Me on the other hand, well, I really am happy to participate in the cuddliest of cuddles.
New best young mate Libby and I were first acquainted when she and her mum came to find us in our field. The spring grass is thinking about starting to grow and being in the fields is good fun again. So, when our person called us, we decided to stay in our field and make the two legs do some work. We were quite happy to see people – we really are a sociable bunch – but we hadn’t realised that tasty nibbles might be on offer in our barn. When it was explained to us that there would be llama mix in our feed buckets, guess what? We legged it up the run for tasty treats.
We ate. People watched. Our person showed best young mate Libby and her mum how to put our halters on, which often entertains people. I mean, a sensible older fellow like Ringsbury or even Avebury is a demo model and when a barked ‘Stand’ command is issued, they stand. When a slightly less sensible fellow like Rollright or Moai is told to ‘Stand’ it doesn’t have quite the same effect and llama and person circle the manger a couple of times before the young lad realises it would be easier all round if he just stood still. Halters and haltering are fine with me and I understand why it is done. Wearing a halter and being tied up means we can be groomed. Grooming is not our favourite activity – the brush can pull, but as we aren’t brushed when we are wet it’s never too bad. In fact, some of us – like my lovely uncle Stenness, lie down to let people groom them.
Libby tied my rope to our railings and groomed and stroked me. Rollright, Moai, Stenness and Croft Ambrey all took the weight off their pins, kushed and rested on their haunches. When we are with our people it’s often the younger and less dominant llamas who take first opportunity to rest. The older bosses like Ringsbury and Silbury stay alert for longer. Of course, all of us will sit down eventually, but the herd leaders like to make sure all is safe before they can rest.
Llamas were readied, and people put on boots and jackets as there was likely to be a shower. We were off, and this time, my uncle Brodgar led with our person, I walked in second place with best young mate Libby to show her the way and her mum was partnered with Silbury who is a seasoned and responsible chap whom I greatly admire.
Well, we had a lovely time (apart from the shower) and we trekked through Ewyas Harold village where we met people with dogs, people on bikes, people in cars, and people just out for a walk like ourselves. We often stopped on the walk and I think this was because I was required for cuddling duty. I looked down at new best young mate Libby and she looked up at me.
We toured Ewyas Harold Common, and took in a big circuit around the areas of dried bracken, past the yellow gorse, along the paths flanked by rose, bramble, and thorn bushes, and back along the lower track where the daffodils are just popping their heads open.
There were opportunities for Libby’s mum to take pictures of Libby and me, usually with us standing very close to each other. Once back at Old King Street Farm, we three boys were allowed to graze new fresh grass, and we posed for more photos in front of the Cider House.
I think that lots more pictures were taken in the barn – we really must be the most photographed llamas around. And one very nice surprise for us all was when new best young mate Libby drew a picture of me and decorated it with some lovely llama fur. All too soon it was time to say goodbye. We’d had a lovely trek and we strolled back to our field with our new two legged friends in attendance. One final hug, and then they were off.
More news from Golden Valley Llamas soon