Wednesday, December 19, 2007

An Alpaca Christmas Story

I know I posted this before. It was written by me in 2006 early Christmas morning, after a particularly tragic fall event, the loss of a beautiful, full grown Bolivian female alpaca. She just died, with no apparent reason, and the necropsy we had done showed nothing wrong. She left behind a gorgeous two week old male cria, whom we called, "Little Boy" for a long time, and who had a terrible struggle with grief and loneliness after his mother's death.

Little Boy is now BMAR's Quickbeam, is doing beautifully, and is in fact, the little white male shown in the Christmas parade with Rosie Cotton.

I hope you enjoy this Christmas story, and I wanted to let you know how much I love and appreciate all of you. You are such wonderful people, and my life has been truly blessed to have been touched by each of you.

Merry Christmas.

Twas the night before Christmas......

and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse..... well, maybe a mouse, and a dog or two.... and a few cats..... and a dozen alpacas... Boy, what a racket!!!

Well, here it is 4 am my time and after telling the children they can't get up until at least 7 am, who is sitting here wide awake?? Mom of course! I am always too excited to sleep in Christmas day. I remember when my kids were little I would wake them up because I couldn't wait another minute! Yesterday we made cookies and went caroling to some people who needed some Christmas cheer. My friend who is celebrating Christmas without her mom for the first time. Our friend who by should have a baby in her arms this Christmas, but doesn't..... People who need comfort and cheer this year. The peace that only the child who came can give, but I can give a hug, a shoulder, and some cookies.

I should be tired! I was tired last night! Then..... I took the advice of my friend Plumpie Mousie, who reminded me that on Christmas Eve animals are given the gift of speech.

So I went outside late last night to hear what they had to say. It went something like this......

Hally- Boo: Boy, it sure is mild tonight, it's been so cold lately!

Osita: Yup, my arthritis sure kicks up when it gets cold like this, getting old really stinks doesn't it?

Hally: Old, what are you talking about? You're only 9 years old, you're a spring cria still.

Osita: Thanks Hally, but have you seen these white hairs lately? And Heathertoes sure is adding her fair share of them this year! That little girl is the bounciest cria I've ever had!

Hally: Yes, my little Rosie Cotton is quite the handful as well.

Angie the llama: Just be grateful you can have more crias! I only got to have one, but I love all of yours year after year like my own.

Osita: Angie, what would we do without you? You are the perfect Nanny Llama Momma!

Arwen: I can't wait for my new cria..... Hay!? What's that in the sky??

Fanny Bryce: It looks like a really bright light, wonder what it is?

Osita: Haven't you ever heard of the Christmas Star? It shines every year to remind alpacas of a special baby born a long time ago. He was quite the 2-legger so my momma told me....

Hally: Did he have an unlimited supply of alfalfa?? (interrupting with a gleam in her eye)

Osita: No, he brought something more precious than alfalfa....

Hally (interrupting again) Did he bring sweet feed and pellets??!!

Osita: (sigh) No Hally, I'm not sure what he brought exactly, but it makes our 2-leggers very happy this time of year remembering His gift. Whatever it was, it was sure something special, I'm sure of it.

Hally: Well, if you can't eat it, it can't be that special....

Osita: (with a knowing look) You'll understand when you get older.

(meanwhile the crias are off talking amongst themselves)

Heathertoes: So, who's the fat guy on the roof?

Rosie Cotton: Dunno, he sure has a cool ride though!

Little Boy: Wow!! What are those things pulling it??

Heathertoes: Those are reindeer (she says with a condescending air) my mom told me about them. She's the smartest momma ever!

Rosie: The fat guy must be important to have all those reindeer pulling him around all night, and did you see them fly in?? Cool beans!!!

Little Boy: Well, I could fly if I really wanted to. But, um, I don't want to right now.... Hay! What's he bringing us? Is that, is it alfalfa?!?!

Heathertoes: Yum Yum!
Santa: Hello there little ones, are you enjoying your Christmas Eve?
Little Boy: What's a Christmas?

Santa: Ho, ho, that's right! This is your first Christmas isn't it? Well, every year on this night, I will come and visit you and grant you one Christmas wish! So what'll it be young man?

Little Boy: Well, if I could sir, I would like my momma back, I sure do miss her....

Santa: Well my precious one, while I can't bring back your momma, I can grant you a look in my magic mirror so you can see her for a few minutes, would you like that?

Little Boy: Oh, yes sir!! Santa holds his mirror up, and Little Boy sees his beautiful momma pronking and playing in the moonlight in a big green field with hundreds of other crias. She stops, looking out over all the babies, keeping a watchful eye on Little Llama Girl, and Fannie- they always seem to be off getting into trouble.

In the distance, Little Boy can see a big, proud llama with a noble head gently herding some crias to the fold for the night. Little Boy's momma stops and looks directly in the mirror. Little Boy can feel her gaze on him, filled with love, just like when she was here with him. After a moment, she turns and walks away to round up some wayward little ones.

Little Boy cries: Santa! Why did she leave me? How come she can't come back?

Santa replies: Do you remember hearing the story about the Christmas Star? About the little 2-legger born this night who came to save the world? Well, he's all grown up now, and sometimes he needs help with his flock where he lives. Your momma was called to help, because she is a very good momma. I know you miss her, but she is helping other little crias who have lost their mommas and even their daddies and 2-leggers too. I know it's hard, but I promise you will be with her again someday.

Little Boy: (looks down and thinks about it for a while) Well, I guess it would be pretty sad to lose everything... at least I have my other momma Osita, and my buddy Heathertoes. And my daddy is right over there! Oh, thank you Santa for helping me understand. If my momma is that special, I am really glad she can help... but I still miss her.

Santa: Then for your gift, I will grant you the opportunity to see her every year when I come visit, how's that?

Little Boy: Cool beans! Thanks Santa!

(meanwhile off in the boys pen)

Eclipse: (scoffs) I could fly better than that Dasher, I tell you!

Sandpiper: Can you just see my long silky locks blowing in the wind? The chicks would SO dig that!

Mithrandir: I would be the coolest flying alpaca ever!

Earendil: I think I'm gonna practice some more (leaps away getting some substantial air)

Eclipse: Yeah, but Santa would like me best cuz I'm white and he could see me better, I could lead the sleigh!

little Pippin: Wow, do you think Santa would let us pull his sleigh someday?

Faramir: No way lame brain, it's a reindeer gig.

Mithril: I'm the biggest here (says proud llama boy) so I would get to be in the lead, but I'm happy right here on the ground thank you very much.

(a scuffle breaks out and neck wrestling ensues.... the girls all run over to cheer on their favorite)

Santa: Boys, boys!!! Remember, it's Christmas! Here, how about this, even though you can't pull my sleigh, for your one wish I can grant you this, the power to fly for one night!

(all the boys are suitably impressed!)

And alpacas lift off the ground and take to the air.

Eclipse: This is harder than it looks (waving his front legs in the air while he tries to stay upright)

Mithrandir: I've got it! (as he goes into an uncontrolled somersault)

Faramir: Ha-ha! You look so funny!! (his nose hitting the ground)

Gil and Luxor have flown over the mountain in search of adventure.

Sandpiper: (upside down) This is not dignified at all..... but I bet my lustrous locks still look great, even if they are hanging the wrong way!!

Mithril: (on the ground sniggering to Santa) They never learn do they?

Santa: Machos, will be Machos.... that will never change my dear boy.

Meanwhile my little Osita is making her wish.....

Osita: Dear Santa, this year I would like some carrots for Christmas morning. And precious 2-legger who was born on this night? If it isn't too much trouble, could you bless those 2-leggers who take care of me that I love so much? Help them to know we all love them, and appreciate all they do for us. Oh, and send them some alfalfa from me, okay?

And there you have it, Christmas Eve on the ranch. So, if you looked out your window last night and thought you saw something out of the corner of your eye, it was probably a flying alpaca!
May your Christmas be a very blessed one. May you feel the love of those around you, and pay it forward, double.
I believe in The One who gave all for me, and He did it for you too. The least we can do in return, is love one another.
Love to you all!

Above pictures: Earendil and Lady Galadriel trying out for the Reindeer Games in 2004 Christmas Eve. And Earendil with The Ghost of Alpacas Past. Seriously, this was such a strange thing, air was clear, no fog or clouds, (no snow!!!) digital camera. We decided the ones we had lost came out to pronk with them this night of nights. As the crias would say... cool beans :)) Slainte~ Rachelle

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Snow, snow....... SNOW!!!!!


Friday night, it snowed at our place, YAY!!!!!
Just a quick hello to everyone, and some pictures for you. I am so happy we got some wetness, no more fires!!!!!
I hope you can see the really pretty sparkles. In the dark, in the shady places along our road where the snow is still, it lights up with it's own dazzling show in the headlights as it freezes for the night.

The black and whites are my husband's work, I love them!
Till next time!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas parade!!

This is my advent calendar, for you Bob!

Okay, the more I sat and looked at my last post, the more I hated how I sounded like a whiner. I couldn't bear to have everything hanging out there- it's a little chilly when you bare your soul- so, it's gone! I will publish the photos later, because I do love them, but who wants to be all depressed at Christmas?! Not me. We have so much to be grateful for, that I cannot possibly even want for more.

That said, how about some Christmas cheer? Well, here you go!

Last night my kids and I took two of our alpacas to the local Christmas, Festival of Lights parade. It was a hoot!

Although, we were FREEZING!!! The weather was sooooo cold, I wished I were one of my alpacas, with their furry, warm coats!

Here are the stars of the Festival of Lights Christmas parade in Frazier Park! On the left, BMAR's Rosie Cotton. On the right, BMAR's Quickbeam. This was Quickbeam's second parade, and readers may remember him as "Little Boy", who lost his momma when he was only 2 weeks old. Here he is, doing just great, and showing Rosie how to be the perfect parade paca!

My daughter the elf, with the calmer of the two. The alpacas are always the crowds favorite, and we invariably lag behind the float in front of us because everyone wants pictures.

My son, the look on his face is because just prior to this, Rosie was doing her bucking bronco imitation! I have the funniest picture of them both with these priceless looks on their faces.... but if I published them I'm afraid I might never see my grandchildren, so use your imagination!! 2 teenagers who would rather die than look silly + out of control alpaca = priceless!

I hope you enjoyed this visit, and will come back again soon! Next issue, the Christmas Cat!