Sunday, 16 August 2009

What a day!

Yesterday was another great day here in Patouland. But it didn't quite go according to plan.
Sue was working so it was Angus and me at home all day.

We had been contacted by a lovely couple from Nottingham who were looking to start a herd of alpacas and were interested in one of the girls that we have for sale. They were going to be here late morning so I thought as soon as I knew they were near (most people get 'near' before phoning for final docking instructions) I would entice the girls up wth a bucket of food and we could peruse the herd. So far so good. The phone call came, about a mile away, bucket rattled, girls came up. Henry didn't. Clump was being obnoxious (he has his moments) and was up at the fence being lairy and poor old Henry wasn't keen to pass him to get to the feeding area.

As our visitors arrived, the Clump and Henry screech and spit show was underway. I explained the situation and we leant on the garden fence looking at the girls in the small paddock as we talked about alpacas.

What happened next was quite extraordinary. The small paddock is sometimes used to contain Clump when we go out, he can't antagonise anyone from there and as such there is peace of mind all round. As a result there is a haynet hanging on the fence for him. This was empty but was still hanging over the fence.
Fifi somehow put her head through the loop of rope that it hangs from and as she pulled away from the fence the haynet flew up at her. Pandemonium broke loose. Fifi was now running around the paddock being chased by this green haynet. The whole herd was spooked but Judy our biggest alpaca and female in charge doesn't take any nonsense and currently with cria at foot went into full attack mode. Fifi was being chased by the haynet and the haynet was being chased, stamped on and spat at by Judy.
To say I had to move swiftly is an understatement. I was through the gate and managed with the aid of a piece of rope to round up half a dozen of the swirling mass of alpacas into the catch pen, including the competely terrified Fifi and the by now fully on the warpath Judy.
I quickly removed the haynet from Fifi but in the process was completely covered in spit from head to toe by Judy who by now thought anyone was fair game for a splattering. I remember that there was a fair amount of farting going on as well, curious. All this happened if you remember whilst two people, completely new to alpacas and hoping to start a herd watched on.
All through this some twenty yards away the Clump and Henry show was still going on, spit, screech, spit, screech etc

I extricated myself and explained the situation (again) wondering what else could possibly go wrong. We retreated to the patio for a coffee and whilst waiting for the kettle I changed into a set of clean clothes, no choice I really was coated. I thought we'd give it half an hour for the herd to calm down and then round them up for a close up look.

Half an hour and many questions later we all went into the paddock and rounded up the girls. Judy was not a happy bunny and the spit began to fly....again. I must point out that Judy is not a 'spitter', big unsociable and terrified but not a spitter. Once in the catch pen she turned on me once more. Fighting against another volley of green I managed to manhandle her (and cria) out of the pen and across the paddock to the gate. She didn't want to go and was kicking and spitting as if her life depended on it. Once again watched by our prospective new alpaca owners. I have never experienced anything like it, it really was unbelieveable!

Once Judy was out of the way all was well and we were able to have a look at the herd who, like me, were mostly green. Not easliy put off my visitors, no, they were still here.

Anyway to cut the rest of the story short, our visitors settled on two females and a wether and we retreated to the pub, where the smell of green hung in the air! Excellent result but hard work, thanks Judy!


Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Sounds fantastic !!...its the way you tell'em !!....Your new owners must be keen to survive all that and still be keen to purchase !!...nice that your herd was on Mighy form !....its always nice to be on the front line, even if its a green line.....I can speak from experience !!...Im glad you all managed to escape to the pub !!, for shelter of course.....Jayne

Lucy said...

LOLOLOL - what a pantomime! You could not plan it, could you???? Typical of these blasted creatures. Yours do sound like a feisty lot. Ours don't do too much fighting (yet) but they have their moments. Rose, the matriarch llama, was up at the fence screaming like I have never heard, at a few sheep very far away in the distance. Visitors were videoing this quaint llama behaviour!

Apple Vale Alpacas said...

They say never perform with children or animals - this sounds like the latter, writ large. A tale well worth sharing.