Fearless Kiss joined our herd in June, 2007 after all the other females had been together for 3 years. It took her a long time to integrate with the herd. We later learned that she had been a loner in her old home, too. She was used to being left outside in all kinds of weather so even when it was raining and the other llamas headed to the barn, she would sit down at the feeder and just let the rain fall on her.
One day we let all the llamas out into a newly fenced pasture. Everyone was enjoying munching on the tall grass so Larry and I didn’t think twice about leaving them alone.
All the sudden Larry yelled out – “Fearless is loose!”
I ran outside to see Fearless nonchalantly grazing outside of the fenced area. Apparently, Fearless was the only llama to notice that the gate was open and to walk out into the open field.
As we got closer to her, she looked up at us and casually started walking back into the fenced area.
It made me wonder: as a newcomer, Fearless didn’t know all the “rules.” I wondered about similar experiences in people, similar experiences in my life.
A much young Tippi Canoe.
Such a handsome llama.
We initially borrowed Tippi Canoe to guard Canute, Storm, Altair, and Sky when they needed to be weaned and separated from the rest of the female herd.
He seemed to understand his role immediately. When Canute saw something between Tippi’s legs and went to nurse, he just grunted, shook his leg, and moved up the hill.
Tippi was a great guard llama.
He aimed his eagle eye on us when we took a llama out on a walk – once threatening Larry when Tippi didn’t want him touching Storm.
He kept the same intense watch on the boys when they played or got into fights.
One time I saw Tippy break up a fight between Canute and Storm. Another time I saw him assess a situation as just “horse play” and didn’t bother to break it up.
Twice I saw him herd “the little boys” into a smaller catch pen area and lay across the entrance essentially keeping them all inside and safe for the night. I don’t know why he did it. Coyotes were common but didn’t bother the llamas. Larger hoof stock, deer and pronghorn, weren’t a threat. Still, Tippi must have thought there was danger so he so he did what he had to do to protect his “little boys”.
When the "little boys" were big enough to take care of themselves we were too attached to Tippi to give him back, so we had to buy him and make him a permanent part of our herd.
More stories coming soon!