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


Anonymous said...

how delightful! what beautiful sights it brought to mine, thank you my dear friend, you brought me from tears ar the loss to quiet smiles at the simple joy in life that alpacas have. merry christmas

i beati said...

I love this soooooo much thanks Rachelle

Victorya said...

I love this! And they say cool beans! But a smile on my face :)

And happy holidays! sorry haven't been around much.



B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Oh I love it! Please give them all nose hugs from me! I know that will be a lot of nose hugs but....


Happy Christmas from all the Bears an Not-a-bears at Bob's Place!


mommymelb said...

Hi Rachelle!

Your offer sounds so tempting and wonderful, but I'm afraid I would get the better end of the deal! I am just beginning to spin, and what you see on the drop spindle is all I have done. So I really don't think you would like the yarn I'd trade back! I don't even know anyone who spins to refer you to, and I'm teaching let's be honest, I might not ever get good.

I do love fibers though, and your blog looks like so much fun! I'll be back to visit for sure!


silfiriel said...

I told you so.
you can write a book.
Although i didn't read the entire story, only because lately I try to avoid the computer screen as much as I can, but it starts out just as it should, I love it.
"unlimited supply of alfalfa" :)
cool beans!

Dilly said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhh Rachelle rite long story bowt pacas! Dilly luv pacas!

Dilly want say Mewwy Crismoss!


Dilly not kno wat hav eet Crismoss.
Dilly had Bug Feast plannd, but Mummy find an get rid.

No fair.

Bob think funny.



Mary said...

Merry Christmas!
I tagged you for a Christmas meme on my blog. If you like you can participate!

Gattina said...

I wish you a Merry Christmas !

Catmoves said...

I know you had a beautiful Christmas Rachelle.
Our appreciation and love are with you and yours.

Jamey(Prince) said...

Don't watch your new Sesame Street videos too long or your eyes will bug out:P I FINALLY got an MP3 Player for Xmas. Score one for the brother! Did you ever read the article I sent you about a blogger dogging on the old school Sesame Street? They've got alot of nerve! Well I'll chat with you later

david mcmahon said...

Dear Rachelle,

Yes, I did see your query from 23 December. I had just flown back into Melbourne, but I have been really ill for the past 10 days with a super-bug I picked up while travelling.

Today's the first day the treatment feels as if it's actually working - so I'm getting in touch with you first.

I have not visited a single blog since I got ill, but will be back in Blogland in about 48 hours.

It's a beautiful story and may I just say that any illustrator you choose will either have to be familiar with alpacas or will have to spend a few days observing them, their movements, etc.

Why don't you send the post to as many children's publishers and literary agents you can think of. Don't just confine yourself to US publishers; try the UK and Canada as well, because alpacas are well known around the globe.

Publishers generally know the best illustrators. You don't have to go to a publisher with a writer-and-illustrator combination, if you know what I mean.

Do stay in touch and let me know if you have any questions.

Most of all, good luck, and God bless for 2008


i beati said...

many many blessings to you and yours this new year !!!

silfiriel said...

Happy New Year, and all the best through out the next 366 days!


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year and best wishes to you and all your darling 'pacas.

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Happy new year!


Easybreathingfella said...

Happy New Year Rachelle,

Sorry I'm a bit late with the greeting but I've been taking the easy option for the last couple of weeks.

I really loved your story, I read Davids Advice and I agree completly get it sent off to some agents it's worth the effort.

Talking of effort did you ever try making the Sticky Toffee Pudding?

God bless you and yours, and all the 'pacas especially Little Boy.


Keith x

Helena said...

I went shopping today and, in a sale, spotted a jumper that was 30% alpaca wool!

Normally I am allergic to wool and can't wear it next to my skin :^(
but tomorrow I'm going to go back nd try it on. I HAVE to. It was only £12!!!!!!

I hope you're keeping well and warm there. Please let us know how things are! I'm getting worried that you're down in a deep blue flunk again. If so, email me if you can- sending lots of hugs.

I'd pack off lots of choccie biccies to you too, if I could, but your customs people are strict on what can be sent to the States! (I reckon the customs guys just say it's not legal so they can eat it all.)


Rachelle said...

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Blogger won't let me post!!!!!!
I have good news, and I can't share it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(runs out of room screaming hysterically)

I'll keep trying, but till then- love to all of you wonderful, wonderful people!!! And, Happy New Year!!!!

Anonymous said...

Is blogger letting you post now? I'm curious as to the good news.

silfiriel said...

rachelle, you gotta tell us what's the problem, why blogger doesn't let you post, maybe we can help?

Anonymous said...