January 1st 2007
Happy NEW YEAR
Gosh! My head! What did Wiley put in my water last night? What a party! I've never been to a party like that one before! In fact, I've never been to any party before.
It was all that Wiley's fault. He turned up yesterday and said it was a British tradition to have a party on New Year's Eve. It all sounded so good - Hay, water, more Hay, friends, more Hay, games, more Hay, singing, more Hay, and even more hay! Now that's MY kind of a get together.
We had a Hay Party to end ALL Hay Parties. We all ate so much hay............ O.K., O.K., I ate so much hay, - my perfect figure is now a figure Eight! Now where did I put this month's copy of Alpaca World? The one with the seasonal diet in.
Let me see, what does a diet involve?
No way! I am not going to cut down on my hay consumption, - why can't "Other Half" get some calorie reduced hay instead?
I've got it! It is SO obvious when you get an alpaca of Distinction to figure these things out. It's all about using up calories, isn't it. All you need to do is chew more often! That uses all the calories up! Sorted!
I say WE, but of course the one getting most muddy is "Other Half". He has to bring all of us our supplement and hay in bed each day. We do feel sorry for him, as we wait patiently, watching him from inside our shelters, and he wades through the mud morning and afternoon.
I was laying in my shelter this morning, pondering the weather, and a funny thing occurred to me. Down here in Devon (I may have mentioned this once or twice before), it rains a lot! I mean a LOT!
Talking of mud - and there is so much of it around here it's difficult to find another topic of conversation. If you waggle your foot in it for a bit, then pull it our quickly it makes a pleasing kind of slurp!
And another thought - these humans go surfing on the sea, skating on ice, and skiing on snow. So why don't they invent MUD SKIS? We have the mud and we have the slope! And if you put TWO foot clamps on each ski then I could use them, too. See, I have lots of very good ideas - every one a Little Gem! Oh yes, I can be corny too. See what you get when you have an Alpaca of Distinction as a friend!
Then, and this one's the "Clincher", you could wear one of my exclusive "Ted Wear" Ski Hats. See, I can advertise, too!
By the way, the problem we were having with the position of the ear holes in my Ski Hats has been solved - the BOSS didn't put any in!
January 15th 2007 DISASTER! DISASTER! The wind has blown theroof off my shelter! My hay is all wet! The Boss has tried to dry it out by laying it out all over the field, but guess what? It has all blown into Alex’s field. Now I have NO hay!
As you have guessed by now, the Boss has some very good ideas and some not so good ones. Last week she had a very, very bad idea. BOSS and Other Half stood by my fence and watched me for a long time. I just sauntered round my paddock, munching and acting nonchalant whilst they talked about me. You might have wondered why we have these beautiful mobile ears - we can hear a butterfly sneeze at a hundred metres, so eaves-dropping on a human conversation at the far side of the paddock is a doddle.
They were debating whose paddock to move me into, as I seemed lonely on my own. Now, first of all, they should have consulted ME! Some of us alpacas like our own company – sharing is a difficult concept for some of us – just ask Alex!
Second, why didn’t they just ask me who I wanted to play with – that would have saved a lot of trouble! Well anyway, after some deliberation they opened my gate and let me wander into the girl’s paddock – Oh, Boy! There was much muttering and whispering about me being a WETHER so this should be the safest bet. Yeah! Right!
First the girls just turned and stared at me – of course they would, wouldn’t they! An Alpaca of Distinction doesn’t come visiting every day. The Kids raced up to me, eager to say hello – then a "grey streak" raced across the paddock in my direction – Oh! Hi, mum!
Oh dear! Who says mother’s always love their children. My mum, Cleo, started spitting at me - lots! I dashed off feeling just a little hurt, after all I am her only son AND I’m famous!
Then I spotted Charm, WOW! She’s some beauty! Now I can understand why everyone got a bit concerned after I spotted HER. I was only following my instincts – but apparently I am not supposed to have THOSE sort of instincts any more!
Boss shouted, “Hey! Ted – I don’t think THAT'S a good idea!” and Other Half raced over and rescued me from all those women. Well, I did try to explain – Charm didn’t seem to mind, even her mum didn’t seem too concerned – but BOY, did MY mum have a go at me - spitting at me, and telling me off.
So I had to say goodbye to "sweetie pie" Charm and go back into my ownpaddock,under duress I haveto say – no hay, no playmates….. but on the plus side, no angry mum!
The hay problem was soon solved and a fresh bale appeared like magic from Ivory’s shelter – he’s a real nice guy, that Ivory. Shares his hay, talks to me over the gate, and never, never spits at me. The Other Half has fixed my roof and I can still talk to Charm over the fence, but I quickly bury my head in the hay if my mum comes over.
Boss said she was very sorry, but the good thing about this experience is ALL the girls seem to be pregnant as they didn’t want me near them – except Charm and she’s too young to know about those sort of things – didn’t seem that way to me! But then I’m a "wether", what do I know!
22nd January 2007. Well, it seems to have stopped raining for a little while and the wind has died down enough for me to stand still for a few minutes and reflect on life.
It’s coming up to that time when the BOSS has to take those kids away from their mums. Ah! Poor little mites - they will feel so unhappy for a few weeks – I remember last year whenBarley, Barnaby and Sexy-legs had to leave their mums. The poor little dears, humming, pacing up and down – well, the boys anyway! You should have heard that Barnaby, he’s such a wimp!
But they got over it in a day or two. It's funny how the mums never seem to mind, in fact I think they are quite glad to see the back of them for few days, they can get on with the much more important part of life – eating!
I have it on good authority that little Chris is coming into MY paddock for me to look after when he’s fully weaned. Lucky little lad is being put in a paddock with cutie pie Charm and my little sister Boadie for a few weeks first. Now why can’t I have Charm to look after?
Barley is going to his new home in Essex in a few days time, so he’s being checked over, - feet trimmed, bits taken out of his fleece – Boy! what a huge fleece for young lad! The BOSS has a real job on there, mud, hay, leaves, more mud! I’m sure he’ll look wonderful when his new BOSS comes to get him. He’s had his injections – which means we will all be getting ours in the next few days. Well, I always knew there was an upside to rain – BOSS says we can’t have our injections if our fleece is wet! Now you know why I’m standing out here looking at the sky – is that a cloud I see? Gosh, more rain! Oh well, that’s life – it’s a real shame my shelter has lost its roof again – now I will get all wet – Ha! Ha! See - I told you rain was GOOD for an alpaca. No jabs today!
Now where’s my hay? Oh, it’s in Ivory’s shelter keeping dry! I must have a word with the BOSS about letting me visit with Ivory for a day or two, just to be sociable.
Sue West runs Little Gem Alpacas and Alpaca Angels from Wiltshire in the UK
Feel free to contact Sue either by e-mail - email@example.com, or telephone 01985 219118 (mobile 07799 761289)
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