Thursday, April 26, 2007
First of all, let me apologize to my friend Gattina- I promise I am working on a post that will tell you in great detail the difference between a llama and an alpaca! But, sometimes the muse bites and if you don't listen and write furiously she will desert you to find a more willing ear, so.
This is about a wonderful human being. A sweet soul who came here to Earth to make my time on this planet a bit better. My little brother Jamey. I am 42 now, and he is going to be 37 so we are undeniably getting on towards middle age and he is about a foot taller than me- but to me he will always be my baby brother.
In 1970 my mother was pregnant. After 6 miscarriages, the doctor had told her to stop trying until they could figure out what was wrong and put her on birth control..... oops- didn't work.
I was just 5 years old at the time and all I knew was that I was going to have a baby. As my mother grew in girth, the question was raised that she might be carrying twins. Perfect! I said, one for mommy and one for me!! We have quite a gap between my older sister and me- 14 years to be exact. I was only 8 years old when my sister married, and all I remember is crying at her wedding, running after her in my little flower girl dress with the tiny green and yellow daisies, sure I would never see my big sister again. So I was delighted at the chance to have a baby brother or sister who would be mine- to keep. I assured my mother that this one wasn't going to get married... ever.
One day with me in tow, my mother went to the doctor- she was three weeks overdue, and humongous, seriously- she looked like she was carrying triplets, all of them weighing about 9 lbs.
After doing a checkup, the doctor exclaimed: "The baby's in the birth canal, get to the hospital, NOW!" After getting me to a friend's house and contacting my dad, she did.
The doctor broke her water and nothing happened, so they induced labor. 8 hours later, the doctor does an exam, baby is not in birth canal anymore, and after cussing, the doctor tells my mother there is another bag of water! After the rupture of this sac, mom goes into hard labor, but she isn't dilating past 3 centimeters.... Hours later the doctor is pacing and muttering about losing the mother AND the baby. (can you say: C-Section?!? Anyone??!!) At 3:00 am he finally rips and tears his way in, and removes my little brother with forceps. Thus Thomas James Morrison the second was born. All 9 lb 12 oz of him.
Then, another little one was removed- never fully formed, but having a full term water sack and placenta.
Jamey came home to me all in one piece, and beautiful. After making sure he had 10 fingers and toes, I took him and raised him.........
Okay, maybe my mom helped a little.
When Jamey got to the age of one year, it was apparent something was different about him. He loved the vacuum and would lay his head on it while it was running. He loved spinning things, anything that spun by itself, and whatever he could make spin. He was a delightful little boy, sweet of face and loving. But what was troubling was that he didn't show any inclination to talk.
As he got to the age of two, he would have temper tantrums, not unusual for that age, but Jamey would bang his head on the ground- carpet, wood floors- cement, didn't matter, and he would hurt himself doing it. He was obsessive about his food- it had to be separated into compartments, and none of the differing food items could touch one another. He ate on a yellow enamel plated camp plate for every meal for about 12 years.
He would take a Bermuda grass stem (you know the seed heads that look like propellers?) and sit by himself for hours spinning it. He would rock back and forth and hum, but still wasn't talking. By the age of four he was running my mother in circles, couldn't focus on any activity for more than a few minutes, and still wasn't talking. He isolated himself to his room or out in the backyard.
After several doctors tests and exams, they said he was Autistic, Aphasic, Hyper Active and Hyper Kenetic. Their recommendation? Institutionalize him. He would never live a "normal" life, and it would be too great a strain on our family to keep him at home. Now, this was 1974 and not much was known about Autism. There wasn't special education then, and the knowledge that getting a child like this into a structured environment at a very young age, where they could receive things like personal IEP's and specialized behavior programs wasn't even in the vocabulary of the medical profession yet. But my mother slapped the doctor and said I'm taking him home... okay, she didn't slap him, but she took him home. She researched and found everything she could find about his diagnosis' and miraculously found a place that specialized in developmental disabilities. Providence Speah and Hearing center- in the city of Orange. This wonderful school became a pioneer in the field of special education, and set the blueprint for many programs to follow.
In a few short months Jamey started talking, and hasn't stopped ever since. My mother studied everything she could find about Autism and followed all the current recommendations- she painted his room the right colors, avoided certain food colors and followed the reward/consequences behavior programs to a tee. Jamey learned how to control his outbursts, and redirect his focus.
Eventually Jamey was mainstreamed onto a regular education campus, while still in special education, or as they called it then Learning Handicapped, or 'LH' classes. Always emotionally much more immature than his peers, Jamey suffered tremendous humiliation and derision from his so called 'friends' growing up. His heart was broken ever so many times as he tried again and again to fit in and was tormented time and again by the same individuals who claimed to be his buddies. He perservered and by the time he reached high school age he was in regular education classes, and graduated only one year behind his class. He made lifelong friends among those like him, with mild to moderate disabilities both mental and physical. He became a leader among them, organized regular UNO tournaments and river trips with my father on his boat, and after graduation, became the organizer for their reunions. When his best friend died after a long struggle with kidney failure and years of dialysis, Jamey kept the group together, and they made it through the veil of grief without implosion. Jamey was given Ritalin as a young child, and it helped him to remain focused and function. When he was a teenager he made the decision to stop taking them on his own, and when he was ready.
Jamey learned how to live, work, and abide by the social rules and regulations that structure 'normal' life. Struggling continuously with his emotional challenges, he was none the less able to maintain a long term job with a pizza joint run by a wonderful man who became like a father to Jamey. He also had a long term job at Magic Mountain in the food industry.
I could go on and on- about how difficult just living in the 'normal' world is to this day for him. About how depression is a problem, how he was married, and divorced, and all the other struggles he has had to live through- but I don't want to. What I want is to talk about how proud I am of him, and how far he has come.
So, I will tell you about Jamey in 2007. Jamey has lived in Las Vegas by himself for many years now, moving out of the family home when he was in his 20's. He was offered a management position with Papa John's Pizza place, but chose to remain as a driver- where he makes more money. He is maintaining a steady relationship with a wonderful woman who just finished getting her degree in Nuclear Medicine. Has worked as a tour guide in Vegas for a few different companies, and as a short and long haul trucker. He is the best driver I know, and is the owner of two cars, and owns a third with his girlfriend.
He still is the sweetest young man I have ever known. Kind and loving, affectionate, gentle, and generous. Loves the Three Stooges, can do a wicked Curly imitation, and will sit and watch Sesame Street with his big sister to this day. He loves scary movies, skulls and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. How despite the name of his website, he loves his Father in Heaven and can't fool anyone. Loved by his niece and nephew, treasured by his sister, adored by his mother and father.
Institutionalized.... just think about it. What a waste of a wonderful human being. Would he have turned out different if that stupid doctor had done a c-section? I don't know, but I know my life is richer for this outcome.
I love you baby brother! Visit Jamey here at: http://princeofsin.tripod.com/
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I have your answer: It goeth right here. It goeth all over the ranch, it goeth into our house, under our doors, through our roof, under our windows, and it taketh the ground away on our road in the form of mud slides.
It has been raining here for 4 days straight. It not goeth away anytime soon methinks. Tonight it turneth to snow, or so they say.
Our 'seasonal stream' currently goeth amuck and turneth into Raging Waters, we should charge admission.
The trees, they do atumble down the road with the boulders.
The mud, it doth wreak havoc and slide down the road making it impassible.
It goeth into the pacas ears, causing them to shake their heads all the time. It goeth under my collar and through my rain clothes.
It washeth away all of our berms, and floodeth our land.
Is it time to build an Ark? Who knoweth?
I hereby offer up as a sacrifice, the following things:
My favorite alpaca sweater, it is all wet and cold anyway.
My Uggs, though they may be soggy and smelly, they are still Uggs, and therefore valuable.
All the pots and pans, Tupperware, stray buckets and sundry items we have been using to catch the rain that goeth in our house through our leaky roof.
The soft pine floorboards that have floored our house for 15 years, after all, you got them wet, it's the least I can do.
The weeds on all of my acreage........ they are of amazing height and abundance, this should count as extra credit.
My muck boots, yuck, nuff said.
My rain coat and pants, come on, they never worked right anyway, you managed to goeth under and over them every time.
My shearing date - sacrificed already thank you very much.
And last but not least, a wheelbarrow full of mucky, soaking wet, heavy weight alpaca poo....... for your garden of course! :)
Please accept these gifts given with all the fervor I can muster.
As a last request, I beg of you to take your brother hail with you when you go. I know he is just more wet in disguise.
Until next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The sun'll come out, whenever
Wouldn't bet a dollar that tomorrow....
There'll be sun.
Just thinking about, tomorrow
Hoping, wishing, praying, that tomorrow
there be SUN!!!
But remember no rain, makes today, OKAY!!!!!
I hope that, tomorrow
The sun will come out to play!
(big finish, come on everyone join in)
I'll love ya, tomorrow
If only, the sun- - - will - - - - STAY!!!!
Respectfully submitted by the ASAMP Alpaca Society Against Mud Puddles: (okay so we're not that good at acronyms)
Founding members in good standing, although ankle deep.....
Eclipse, Luxor, Gil, Bilbo, and Sandpiper
This message will self destruct in 30 seconds.
I must have my heddle too tight, I have a lot of tension, and have always been warped........
I am very bouncy, or is that loopy? And who knew I could adjust the tension???
Till next time!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
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 your's 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 daddys 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!
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?
So 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!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Well, tonight I reflect on the many blessings, and heartaches that come with ranch ownership.
In 1995, when we lived in Downey, CA and had tiny house (800 square feet) and a postage stamp yard we dreamed of living someplace where our children would be safe, we could have loads of open space, and my secret dream of farm animal ownership. In 1999 our dream became a reality, and we moved to our 20 acre large spacious home with loads of room.
We discussed lots of options for animal ownership, I have always been a horse person, you know Barbies were only there to feed the horses! But after a serious back injury that I eventually had to have surgery from, it just wasn't feasible at that time. Too much risk for injury. Cows were out, as was anything we might have to kill to make a profit.
Alpacas waltzed across our television screen one night, and we were fascinated. After visiting the ranch we saw on tv, we knew we had found the perfect business, no kill, great for small children, potential for profit... and those faces. My heart was hooked!
When we started out on our new adventure, we learned everything we could, we attended seminars, bought books, spent days at the ranch where we eventually bought our animals - and basically lived and breathed these guys for months before we made the move. Finding the perfect mentor ranch was very important, and we were so lucky to have found our friends John and Tina Malkus at Alpaca de la Pacifica. I still call them and ask for advice 7 years later. You guys are wonderful, what would I ever do without you?
Ranching in a new industry like alpacas is a learning process. Husbandry is continually evolving as we learn new and better ways to care for these guys. Since I am the one who runs the day to day of the ranch, I still go to educational events, and we host them here at our ranch. I am also on the development committee for the Alpaca Research Foundation- who secures funding for new studies in subjects that will help us keep up with new concerns and innovations in our industry. Continuing education is vital to our future. Our families were amazed at how much we learned so quickly, but to us it was just love of the animal that led to our quick study :)
The joys of alpaca ownership are many, the peace of just being in their presence is not easily explained, it is something that one needs to experience personally to understand. The smiles a new cria can bring are heartwarming, and the creation of a new creature that you 'designed' for lack of a better term, through your very own, ranch specific breeding program continually amaze. It just never gets old. The deep breath you take after a difficult delivery with a positive outcome, or the favorable response to treatment of a sick animal are differing types of joy as well. Heck, just walking outside when you are having a really crappy day and having your heart softened in ten minutes time just by being in the same general space as they are is worth everything.
I have held the head of a very old, very sick friend as the life left his tired eyes- then buried him. I have fought to save the life of a newborn cria who crashed after birth, and cried what seemed like endless tears when a life was taken suddenly and without warning. The decision to end a life because an animal is suffering is one that every animal owner will have to make at least once in their lives. When you are a ranch owner, your chances for having to make the hard choice multiply. It never gets any easier, ever. You say, it is livestock, and with livestock- you have dead stock, it is just a fact of life. But tell that to your heart....
Sometimes death is greeted with a sense of relief, suffering ended, peace at last. But sometimes, when death strikes without warning you are left standing there in the wind with your soul in tatters around you while your heart is ripped open just asking WHY??
We have always believed that God gave us stewardship over the creatures of this earth. To be a good steward is to have respect for them, care for them, and provide for their needs. So, this we do to the best of our abilities. The questions why, and what could have been done differently, and how does this change the way we do ____? those are all a part of this stewardship- difficult as they are.
When a life is involved the looking back and asking of those tough questions is what tears you up the most. In talking with hundreds of breeders across the country, this is what they say. Even though you know, the vet knows, everyone knows there was nothing else you could do... you still feel the pain of not doing enough. Surely I could have done something more.... if only we had done (fill in the blank)........
Some people say that it's only an animal. And sure, we have over 20 on our property give or take a few at any given time, but I know each and every one of them. Every one. Their personalities, likes and dislikes- and their health status at any given time, can be rattled off easily. Whether my own alpaca, or one who belongs to someone boarding here, or one who is just here for a short time for a breeding- they are all precious to me.
Tell me animals have no souls and I won't believe you. Too many owners and breeders have I spoken to about this very thing, we know better. We have watched mothers mourn their lost babes, they grieve, they cry and they ask us why with their big, expressive eyes and soulful cries. We have seen a new cria orphaned as momma was taken suddenly, and before her time. They ask you why, they cry for days, sometimes weeks every time they see you- "Are you bringing my momma back??" and fight as you tube or bottle feed to save their life, and eventually they learn to move on. Some mothers don't ever quite trust you again after seeing you take their dead cria away from them. It is enough to break your heart.
We have seen our share of life and death in our seven years in this business. My heart is not in one piece anymore. Whenever something terrible happens, I think I just can't take anymore.
Then, a new cria is born and I fall in love all over again with this life and my job. Or my home girl Osita will gently blow her cud breath in my face as she cushes right next to me while I'm sitting in her pen and says, "See, I told you it was worth it, I'm still here aren't I? This is what it's all about."
Maybe the day will come when my heart just won't be able to take anymore. But it is not this day.
To those who have gone on before us, we will never forget you.
To those you have left behind- we will never be the same again.
Your presence in our lives has left a permanent 'footprint' on our hearts.
We look forward with great joy to the day when we will be able to see you again.
This is for you.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
It used to be I would dream of her waving at me in passing, like she was letting me know she was still around, not to worry.
It has been quite a while since my last dream of her. I don't cry every day anymore, or when someone mentions her name, or when I think of her family left behind.
Sometimes grief will sneak up behind me and grab hold of my throat, choking me when I least expect it. Like a couple of weeks ago at church when a speaker started talking about how good she was. Then I break down and start to sob. It all comes back to me in a rush, oh yea, she is gone, she won't be coming back...... I do still miss her.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Enter the Suri Houdinis. Faramir, on the left- and Sandpiper. Both suri alpacas, both devious and conniving. Always scheming out new and inventive ways of getting into trouble, these boys, although mild mannered in appearance, are in truth hooligans.
On Thursday last week I was in Fresno with my daughter for yet another round of tests for her. I came back Friday afternoon and went outside to see my pacas. It is spring here, and that means green grass for everyone to graze inside temporary fencing enclosures.
Our alpacas are kept on what is called 'dry lot' conditions. No grass inside their enclosures, and all food is therefore easily measured and increased or decreased as needed. So Spring is an exciting time of the year for the pacas. Fresh green grass and extra running space!
When I went outside that day Sandpiper came running up to me for attention.... but what's this? He was out! A quick head count found Faramir to be missing as well. He was found below the pens grazing in the 4" grass trying to hide behind an oak tree with a sheepish expression on his face, and showing no inclination for returning to his enclosure. All the other boys were present and accounted for, and Eclipse, ever the responsible one, was trying to tell me what had happened.
See, some alpacas are very content with their place in the world, they are happy with their hay, alfalfa and pellets. The occasional carrot and apple snack, some fresh greens and rare fruit are treasured. They are comfortable inside their safe, fenced areas, and love their life.
But there is always the "grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" crowd.... Enter Sandpiper and Faramir. The only two suris I own. Now I don't know if suris are inherently more devious in nature, or if I'm just the lucky owner, but those two are always in trouble. Well, that's not fair. Faramir is a sweetie, he could only be led astray by a master- that would be Sandpiper.
Now we did all of our fencing ourselves. Nine years ago we started, and over the years we have learned.... that The Blacks pretty much suck at fencing. But luckily Red Brand fencing makes a fence that is Black foolproof. In the last year or so we have replaced almost all of our exterior fencing with this brand, which is alpaca proof. With the exception of the back fenceline. It was still 5' welded wire with a hotline on the top.
Thus follows a recreation of actual events- because, of course, I wasn't here when it happened. Sandpiper, seeing the green grass, was unable to resist. He started by pushing his nose through the 2" gap and nibbling. Pretty soon he figured out that he could pop the horizontal lines if he pushed hard enough, and in no time at all he had his whole head through.
Here is Sandpiper. Is he smiling? You betcha. After he taught Faramir the secret, he quickly realized that all that fence pushing had created a unique situation. The bottom of the fenceline had lifted about 4". What followed must have been hilarious to watch, I wish I had been here.
Sandpiper and Faramir both crawled out under the fence.... I imagine their conversation went a bit like this:
Sandpiper: "Pssst.... Faramir!"
Faramir: "Yeah, What?"
Sandpiper: "I'm blowin this joint, wanna come?"
Faramir: "Uh, I don't know Sand, what will the 2-leggers say? Man, just look at this fence! We're gonna be in so much trouble already... and remember what happened the last time I listened to you? I ended up with a funky hair-do I had to live with all year until the next shearing. And then there was the time you told me what to say to that Hembra I liked, and she spit! Right in my face!! Remember that?"
Sandpiper: "That was cuz she was a huacaya dude. But I don't care, look at all that green grass out there! I'm gonna get out, and eat till I explode!"
Faramir: "Hey Sand, they let us out every day! I heard the nice one who gives us carrots say we could only go out for an hour a day so we don't get tummy aches... I don't think it's a good idea. I'm sure she'll be here real soon to let us out, why don't we just wait?"
Sandpiper: "What are you, a chicken? Why don't you go live up there with the hens, bwuck-gack (makes rude and annoying chicken sounds). Whatever dude, I'm outta here."
Faramir: "I'm NOT a chicken!! Just watch this!!" (he squirms under the fence)
Sandpiper: (grinning like a fool because now they can't say he broke the fence) Woo- hoo! Thatta boy, let's go!!"
And the rest is history. The tragic tale of how an innocent alpaca was boonswaggled into his first criminal act. Faramir came running back when I shook the pellet bucket, and kissed me until he was convinced he was forgiven. He and Sandpiper both had to have probiotics due to their upset tummies. But that didn't stop Sandpiper...
The next day as I was driving away from the house, my daughter and I looked out the car window to see Sandpiper standing at the fence... smirking at us. I knew what he was thinking.
"You may have fixed the fence, but I already have another plan. You won't know when, or where, or what it is, but believe me, it's gonna be good."
Faramir was in the bottom of the pen covering his head and humming.
The girls, enjoying their time on the grass. But's what's this? Is that rosie whispering to Heathertoes?? Uh oh......