So far, living on our little farm has been a blast. It does seem like there is always work to be done, but mostly Renaissance Man and I enjoy it. In the winter, I look forward to planning the next year’s garden. In the summer, I get a huge kick out of picking blackberries and blueberries from our own property. It’s been wonderful to have our own fresh raw milk to make yogurt, kefir, and cheese. And the pastured eggs are divine. Other than the chickens pooping on our back deck, caring for our animals has been quite enjoyable. Even the challenges with the llama lately (having to harness her and inject her with antibiotics) have not been too awful.
But this weekend, we officially entered into the dark side of having livestock.
We had to say goodbye to Llama Girl (or Marge, or Cuba, or Michelle-My-Belle…the poor thing never had an official name). I knew it was coming, but I wasn’t prepared emotionally.
Before bringing Llama Girl to our property, I researched. The books said that if we wanted our llama to be a good guard animal to our goats we would need to make sure she bonded to them, not to us. This meant we were not to establish a friendly repertoire with her. An aloof lama makes a good guard llama. As tough as it was to have an animal that we didn’t bond with, we stuck to our guns for the sake for the sake of the goats.
Still, somehow we bonded just a bit. When I took it upon myself to end her spitting at me (I spat back), we became friends. I would offer her grain out of my hand each morning. She never lingered after the grain was finished, but we had an understanding. We were distant friends. Even still, saying goodbye was a bit more difficult than I expected.
So, Llama Girl, we miss your protectiveness, your stare downs with the neighbor dogs, your alarm calls, your herding the goats into the barn when you felt they were in danger, your playfulness with the baby goats, and your extreme patience at being their personal jungle gym. We’re so happy you can breath clearly now and hope there are some wonderful goats in heaven you can hang with. May you never find a reason to spit again.