This past Friday evening brought a big surprise. A big, woolly, elegant, four-legged, sweet-natured surprise.
Handsome and I had just finished eating dinner and would have been cuddling and unwinding after a long, hard working week, but he was pre-occupied. He stayed dressed and alert for no apparent reason. I mentioned my plan to take a shower before going bowling later, but he strangely discouraged it. Have you been near me today, buddy? I thought to myself, skeptical of his olfactory senses.
Then a friendly knock at the front door (weird, because we rarely have unexpected visitors) and his excited call for me to come see who’s here… Well, let’s just say I almost passed out on the floor. I was still in running clothes and had zero clue what to expect. And I scare easily. Very easily. Ask anybody.
It was our dear friend Maribeth (my apiary mentor) and her sweet, funny, jovial husband Dean. And they had brought their long livestock trailer.
“What the heck’s going on?” I might have said. Seven thousand irrational possibilities rushed through my dried-sweat, tangly-ponytail mind but none of them were the truth. I hug-attacked Maribeth and trusted from her generous laughter that the purpose of her visit was a happy one.
A few intense moments later, I realized it. Maribeth had brought me another llama. And my husband was
okay with it in on it.
As with all big surprises, suddenly fuzzy little irregularities from the previous day or two started coming into focus. The things Handsome had said about Romulus remembering his family and needing a mate… Other funny little evasive details… My people had orchestrated this awesome gift behind my back, and I was trembling.
Okay, fast forward a bit.
We released this glowingly beautiful female from her trailer into the barn, where she pranced around pretty calmly. I hope you can watch this quick video…
Then at the exact moment that we opened the west doors of the barn, Romulus was all over her like white on rice!! Something flipped in his adolescent-llama mind and body, and his singular purpose in life was suddenly to, umm… gain passage on her hindquarters… He was a man on a mission, and while the object of his affection took things in stride (elegant creature that she is) Chanta, the big paint horse, was thoroughly and violently freaked out.
Dean, Maribeth, Handsome and I watched in hilarious waves of laughter as Romulus fell more and more deeply in lust with his new pasture mate. Chanta sometimes chased them and sometimes guarded us from the R-rated show. It was a fun half hour, you guys, and it made for plenty of cell phone photos and inappropriate jokes. Because deep down we’re all basically immature children. Gradually Maribeth and I tried to turn it into a scientific conversation about animal husbandry and herd behavior and such, but nobody was fooling anybody. This stuff is just funny.
We have had a long, gorgeous weekend to get acquainted, and I can tell you she is just beautiful, you guys. She is sweet, peaceful, calm, and wise. She explores the fence line, luxuriates equally between the sun and the shade, and loves our chickens and honeybees. She speaks four languages and reads the classics. But she also knows which new books are worth a glance. She understands the difference between Bearnaise sauce and hollandaise. She can knit and also drive a stick shift, and just last night she offered to lend me her Florence and the Machine CD. She is a complicated angel on four straight little legs.