15 minutes later we were pulled back from the verge of sleep by Columbus and Henry having the mother of all alpaca fights. They were in the mating paddock right on front of the house as Jack of Spades is back and he is in the boys field.
Columbus obviously sees Jack as a threat to his manhood and doesn't like watching him have his wicked way with 'his' girls. As a result Columbus was relocated with Henry to let Jack concentrate on the job ahead.
So back to 4.15am and this alpaca fight. Unfortunately for me this comes under my remit. I looked out of the bedroom window and it looked like Columbus was doing Henry some harm. He had him by the back of the neck and had forced him to the floor. So with a sigh and a muttered expletive outside I trundled in my pyjamas to sort them out. Once the gate was open Columbus stopped and they both just stood there motionless apart from their laboured breathing and droopy, dribbling bottom lips. I opened the gate and ushered Henry out to join the other boys. I informed Columbus that it was entirely his own fault that he was now in 'solitary' and unless he changed his tune he would remain there indefinitely.
I watched him, looking for a response but he was still, motionless, mouth agape. A dribble of green slipped out of the side of his mouth and landed in the dusty earth at his feet. I wanted to put my arm round him and give him a few words of fatherly advice. That doesn't work with alpacas so I went back to bed.
Columbus and Henry before testosterone got in the way.
Some time between 5 and 5.30am the dogs started. First there was some whining then some barking. Bryn, the eldest, is almost stone deaf and when he wants to change beds with Josh he stands there and barks at him until he moves. Josh being a 'teenager' resists for several minutes which is lovely for us. Back to sleep then for a final hour perhaps.
The mad labs looking as if butter wouldn't melt.But oh no not if the chickens have anything to do with it. They decided that it was time to add their own contribution to the melee. Three chickens in a plastic 'Eglu' giving it some wellie. I think the Eglu has perfect acoustics. It's like one of those 'wave sound' wotsits. It must channel all the noise from within into a concentrated beam of noise which then obviously fires straight through our bedroom window.
In the end we gave up and got up. Well Sue did, I stayed low and managed to grab a few more minutes......dreaming about axes and shotguns......................