Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We had us a camel rodeo!

Lordawmighty.  It was not a pretty sight, let me tell you.  Kevin Ford arrived early morning and I had closed the gang in the shed for the night - since there was rain forecast for the next 200 days.  He set up and we moved the three sheep through quickly and without too much fuss, although Linden seemed to feel the entire process was way beneath his dignity.  He's an eely thing, for a fat little sheep.  I always stop to admire Juno's beautiful, black, dense, velvety pelt.  She is such a beautiful sheep.

Then I went into the shed to put on Apria's halter.

It got real exciting after that.  She was surprisingly good about my putting the halter on.  And she came out without too much hesitation on the lead.  Then she noticed that there was a foreigner in the mix (Kevin) and we had us a hootenanny!  She was a whirling kaleidoscope of dirty dreadlocks.  She bucked.  She bounced.  She carried on.  Then she finally dug her heels in.  Part of the problem, of course, is that her vision is impaired.  We were finally calmed down when she stepped in a feed dish.  We repeated the dance a few times until we got her moved over to a sizable tree and tied her lead tightly to it.

It wasn't too bad at the start - Kevin had to work his way through about six inches of heavy felted fiber on her neck.  And he is a blade shearer - no electric gizmos for him.  Apria was wary, but he was making headway until....he neared her legs.  Now Hoosier was no fan of leg shenanigans, either.  But hoo-ha, my Aunt Marie!  Hoosier was nothing compared to the appearance of the Evil Inner Camel!  She bared her teeth, she screeched, she gurgled, she spit, she kicked, bucked, danced and looked like a possessed thing.  I braced her on one side, Kevin draped himself over and gingerly clipped her legs and haunches.  He laughingly said there was one llama he sheared that would put his head back and spit straight up.  And then it rained down on everyone.  I kept a very close eye on her head after that. 

The "Before".

"Does my head look fat?"
The process was punctuated by worried bleats by Linden, who has taken quite a fancy to Apria.  I don't blame him.  The entire experience would have chilled the blood of even your most shock-resistent teenager.  After about 20 minutes, we were both breathless and all that was left was her mid-section.  We decided that it was a good idea to just shear her down from head to toe and not have to revisit this Llama version of The Exorcist for another year.  Then we looked down at her hooves.  They need trimming.  Then we looked at each other, and I busied myself gathering wool (she must have been carrying a 10 pound wad of felted fiber on her neck), while he hurried to cram his blade and kit together.  I kidded him that she was a perfect warm-up act for the next three llamas he was heading off to shear.  While he laughed weakly, he sure was moving fast toward his car and escape.  I think a gallon of Rescue Remedy is in order for hoof trimming.
Sigh.  So, it wasn't the "wool" that made them look fat.


  1. What an ingrate, says I. You'd think that she'd be THRILLED to take twenty pounds off in just a short while. I couldn't tell you what lengths I'd go to in order to drop that much weight that quickly!

    PS - for the sole viewing pleasure of your blogging buddies, I say that you put up a video camera next time she has to be sheared! Yes, we're evil. And you love it.

  2. Oh, lawdy, we all just really needed to see a video of that escapade! Both you and Kevin must have looked like you'd been through the wringer when you finished with Apria. How old is she? Will she get more used to this (what she assumes is) torture with each successive shearing? Or do you have this wild ride to look forward to forever? Next time you line up a shearing I think you should invite all of us bloggy buddies to come and participate in the occasion. Okay?

  3. Oh. My. Goodness. Note to self: Swallow the coffee before reading a post about llama shearing!! Too funny!

    I agree with Carolyn Renee~a little shave and 20 lbs. lighter? Yes please. ;)

  4. There is NO WAY that is the same llama. Your fooling us right? So if I get a hair cut, will I look 100 pounds lighter and 20 years younger too? Well does she at least feel better now?

  5. I agree with Carolyn Renee, too: I'd love to love that much that fast AND I'd love to see video!

  6. CR - You would think so, wouldn't you? I was staggering under the weight of that rug. You are evil, aren't you? I have no intention of going viral on youtube, you dickens.

    Mama Pea - If I had been holding a video camera, it would have been more like a moving op art show. Unfortunately, she is what you would call middle-aged for llamas - 12. She won't be getting more mellow as far as I can tell. Unless she gets decrepit and I can man-handle her. She will still spit in my eye. I would have loved the help. The next time I have to go through this, I am sending out a bloggy buddy SOS.

    Kim - I should have warned you!

    Jane - Crazy, right? I wish it was that simple. I just had my hair cut and weigh the same. Not fair!

    Tina - You and Carolyn can film the next one...

  7. Susan,

    I so agree with Kim. Don't read this post until you've stopped drinking your coffee or don't have a mouthful of it. I laughed so hard, you made my day. Thank you for sharing this story.

  8. OMG, you would think she would be grateful to get all that matted wool/hair/pelt/whatever removed!! She does look rather pathetic after being sheared though, wait maybe that's her problem, she doesn't want anyone to see her nekked! LOL!!

  9. Oh, boy! That all makes my day seem a lot better. I had my own animal wrestling match today. I'll try to tell you about it tomorrow. Or soon, soon anyway.

  10. I'm on the llama's side. Last time I went to be coiffed, it was like Custer's last stand. I was lucky to get out with my scalp! I bet she feels naked. LOL

  11. Hahahaha!!! Shearing is no easy task, especially when the critters don't cooperate. Glad to see them all done.
    We have rain for the next 200 or so days too. Yuck.
    My sheep still look fat without their wool too. Oh well, they are happy!