Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Llama in Winter

In addition to the hiker/snowshoe issues that started the month (see post below), winter just isn’t being a sport. All the snow melted—but you can’t even go running, as the ground is a swamp. Then the temperature dropped—and turned the swamp into ice. So finally I ran down to Stoney Pond with my ice skates—not as cold or for as long as I’d like before skating on a lake, but the ice fishermen seemed to survive, so I thought I’d try.

The first problem was finding an access point—not all of the lake was frozen, and shore tended to feature a little water and some very thin ice. I found one eventually, on the far side of the lake. Next problem—an anxious, impatient husky while I lace up my skates. That done, and having successfully mounted firm ice—I haven’t been skating in a while, so it took a while to get my “ice legs” back. But I did, and one nice bonus—my husky can’t really pull on her 26’ retractable leash, as she doesn’t have much leverage on the ice! So some watching for fish holes and suspicious ice, and finally, a winter sport.

The next brought a few inches of snow, so I thought I’d skate again—I’ve done this before, just skating through the snow. Problem is that I can’t see the ice. Further, with snow on the ice, guess whose husky has good traction again? And, with a blanket of snow covering it, the ice surface was turning mushy in many places. I finally gave up.

Today, another inch of snow convinced me, desperate, to try skiing. Not great—technically possible, but really I could just barely get around, and for the most part, dead grass lined the bottom my tracks. Without more snow, that’s pretty much that. I finished the trail, though, and drove toward home.

That’s when I saw it ahead in the road. A llama. Or an alpaca—how would I know the difference? Something South American the size of a horse that keeps it’s neck straight up, has hooves like a deer and wears fur on its back that looks like a poncho made of dreadlocks.

Not wanting it to continue to the highway, I drove around it, slowly driving it down the road back to the its probable home—a farm set far off the road behind the trees that keeps at least horses and sheep that I’ve seen. I was hoping our wooly ruminant friend would head up the drive, but just stood there, the horses watching.

While wondering what to do, a man came walking down the drive. “Got loose last night,” he informed me. “Been walking all over since.”

I watched as he tried to walk close enough to secure his livestock, figuring my presence would at least keep the creature from running my way back down the road. “If I can just get him in with the horses, he’ll be fine,” explained the owner.

That gave me an idea. I went back to the car to get the bag of carrots (What? I had broccoli too, but that didn’t seem promising), hoping to lure the llama. Nope—but the horses instantly noted the carrots and crowded the fence. I obliged.

Finally our fugitive trotted up the long drive toward the house, resigned owner strolling behind. I figured I’d done all I could (OK, OK, I had hardly done anything) and headed for home.


1 comment:

slavetaboo said...

I smiled when you fed the horses carrots. Perhaps you were meant to have an animal adventure instead of winter sport.