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One New Llama, One New Band-aid

I have one more animal story. At least for now.

Our lives in the fiber world have introduced Elaine and I to a whole bunch like minded people. We have met alpaca people, llama people, yak people, and even musk ox people.

This is a story about llama people. Elaine and I are friends with a husband and wife team that has been involved in the llama industry since the 1970′s. These people (with others) are the pioneers of the llama industry in the United States. While some pioneers were interested in llamas for packing, our friends (M & D) were interested in fiber.

M & D have watched the llama industry through the really good times and some not so good. Some breeding stock in the 1970′s were sold of upwards of $100,000. Today breeding stock is being sold for…well, less than that.

If you have been involved in an industry for 35-40 years, the cold reality is, you are 35-40 years older than when you started. M & D want to retire! This is where Elaine comes into the story.

Elaine has been a house guest in M & D’s home on the west coast. Elaine was a vendor at trade shows that were sponsored and owned by M & D. A couple years ago, by phone M informed Elaine that they were in fact retiring and their llamas were for sale.

M & D have been successfully selling their herd. About a year ago, M & D asked Elaine to take a few young male llamas. Elaine was really happy about doing that. Me, I had to look at it logically. Our pastures were not producing as much grass, the area was suffering through wildfires. Hay was and is being sold at ridicules prices. More llamas may not be a good idea.

As time went on, before we could make travel arrangements to get the llamas from the west coast to Colorado, the number of llamas lowered to one llama. I think Elaine is happy, me, I couldn’t be happier. Except for the part we are going to talk about next.

This past summer I wrote a story boasting that it has been more than three years since I have been injured by a llama. Sadly, my injury-free time period has been reset.

M & D wonderfully agreed to bring the llama to Laramie, Wyoming on their way to the Midwest. Elaine and I could meet them in Laramie and pick up the llama. Laramie is about 50 miles from our home.

Once in Laramie, the plan was to remove the llama from M & D’s trailer and place him in ours. Seems simple, except for the part that our livestock trailer was full of trash from our construction projects around our ranch. I needed to go to the landfill and empty the trailer, and then there was the part about when the trailer fell off the hitch at the landfill. Did I mention that when the trailer fell off the hitch it pulled the wiring out of the trailer. Oh yeah, I had to get four guys to pick the front of the trailer up and put it back on the hitch. Did I mention how many people will drive by and stare when you have done something as stupid as letting your trailer jump off its hitch. Sorry, I was getting carried away. I think I need to enroll in yoga. Breathe, Monner, Breathe.

Hey, this breathing stuff works! Leaving the landfill, trailer secured, the truck started sputtering. You see, sometimes the gas gauge in old ranch/construction trucks aren’t very accurate. Elaine picked me up, took me to a gas station to fill up a five-gallon container and take it back to the truck. Filling the truck from the container in gale force winds on the side of the road will also make you want to practice your rhythmic breathing. Except for the gas fumes. I’m getting fired up again! Breathe, Monner, Breathe.

The llama is/was really handsome. Long silky white hair with a spot of black hair on his back.

M informed us the llama would be a little agitated from his trailer ride from the west coast. Boy, I’ll say! Loading him into our trailer this llama leaped at least 40 feet into the air. I might have exaggerated a little, but this the part where I got hurt and I want it to sound really bad and violent. When the llama landed, it pushed me to the side. When the dust had settled, I had blood on my cheek. Not needing stitches kind of blood but a Band-aid kind of blood.

Just like that, my record was over. Oh well, thank God it wasn’t a musk ox.

Our crazy lives!


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