“Just like shearing a prized 4-H sheep…only with taller, longer neck, hairier, & with more green goo.”
I posted last year about our llamas having their spa day, but it was done by a professional stylist. This year’s post is about their spa day, but we couldn’t make an appointment with the professional, so we, and by we I mean Juan, took the shears into his own hands.
I guess I need to begin with a disclaimer or two:
1st-just going to go ahead and admit this from the beginning—I’m not a country girl at heart, I’m slowly learning to play one on tv, but hemming up livestock, and subduing them in crisis isn’t my strong suit. I may not be the sharpest of country girls in the barn, “but I’m pretty!” (thanks Kristen Taekman for the greatest Real Housewives of New York tag line)
2nd-for all of you who are llama shearing experts, A)we are just learning to do this ourselves so we know there are probably better ways to handle everything & B)where on God’s great Earth were you today about 1:30 when we may or may not have needed your expertise???
So after much measuring, cutting, welding, remeasuring, torching, and more welding & thanks to the kindness of friends, friends’ sons, & family members the llama casa is finally outfitted for llama shearing. Last year’s shearing was makeshift just inside the barn and after finding llama hair to this day in many corners, Juan decided this year’s shearing would be an outdoor event. Stalls were built in, gates added, along with a bumper bar, & WE were ready to go…the girls…not so much.
As with most other llama events, “all you need is feed” was going to be our starting mantra to get the girls hemmed up in the pens. We were like the pied piper luring them in thru the gate, and them one of them, I don’t recall who, figured out something was going down, and bolted before I could get the gate closed.
So round two was underway, and then Harley’s humming began. It was right in sync with KatyPerry’s hee-haw burping that she does to signal “Something just ain’t right about this situation guys…” It was another 20-30 minutes or so before we, and by we I mean, Juan primarily, caught KP and boy did we, and by we I mean I, thought “Ok this is going to be pretty easy! WE (Juan’s) got this!”
KP starting heehawing, I got the lead rope snapped on and off they walked to tie her to the fence. More heehawing, and then Katy had the perfect opportunity to let Juan know just how she felt with a deep down gooey green plug of already chewed, and once or twice digested, llama snuff—perfectly placed in Juan’s right ear. (Juan says he thought for a few minutes he had lost some hearing and then stuck his finger in his ear and realized…) It was almost like he’d painted half of his face green for the World Cup. I was not sure how he would feel with me pulling out the camera at this point so there’s an after picture of his hat, among some other pictures on my Facebook account.
Harley was first to be get the glamorous treatment. She is less dashing diva & more the neurotic worrying type. She stood there, moving very little, just staring ahead at the metal in front of her, humming, probably picturing her ancestral home in the Andes, quiet breezes blowing through the pines, while small Incan children played on the hills below. Juan can probably describe the shearing process better, but he says it was much like a shearing a lamb, just taller and more hair. Evidently, it was like riding a bike and in no time flat, Harley the Hummer was done. The wall was still clean at this point.
Enter stage right, in all her glamour, making her entrance so everyone knows who’s up next—Ladies & Gentlemen, its the girl you’ve all been waiting for, here she is, put your hands together fooooooooooorrrrrrrr—KKKKKKKKKAAAATTTTTYYYYYYY PPPPPEEEERRRRRRYYYYY!!! Cue the lights, the hee-haws, curtains up, green spit a-flying. “All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up!” This llama is all drama. She spit, she hee-hawed, she moved left, she ducked right, she spit some more. We tried the tube sock trick but she spit it off her muzzle and frankly, it was so doused in stomach contents, we were a little worried that she might not be able to breathe well with it on.
They are now frolicking in their pasture, enjoying the cool breeze through the three or four pines back there, listening to the guineas arguing with each other as the pen raised quail call back and forth next door…all the while wondering where those quiet Incan children might be, as they sure as everything are NOT going to give me or Juan a bit of attention for the next few days.
I think it is safe to draw the following conclusions:
#1-Today I didn’t soak up a whole lot of knowledge about being a country girl, but I’m pretty! (RHofNY reference #2!)
#2-Llamas are ssmart, ddramatic, nneurotic, & ccomplicated animals…much like humans, and I cannot help but love them in spite of themselves, much like humans. (The jury is still out on Juan’s undying love for them, although he’s been pleased to have their poop to fertilize his garden, so he likes them for that reason I know!)
#3-I am married to probably the best husband there is-would your husband take llama snuff in the face…in.the.face. ????