I was sitting on the back porch at dusk the other evening. It is a beautiful Spring night, the trees are just beginning to bud, white and yellow daffodils are in full bloom and my animals are fighting each other for the tiny sprouts of green grass trying to come up for life and sunshine.
As I'm watching the horses and Dunkay shove each other away from the struggling blades of green, my mind floated back to 5 years ago when Chad (Super Farmer) and I thought it would be fun to start a little farm with no experience and deceiving thoughts of "I'm sure it will be easy, how hard can it be??!!"
We found a cute, already established farm and started off with two Llamas given as housewarming gifts by the previous "Llama Farm" occupants. These llamas, Sweetie and Violet, surely were like llamas we had seen before and even got close to once. Therefore, we had enough experience to begin with two huge animals that don't like to be touched, are shy around humans, and keep a good distance between you and them unless there's grain.
Sweetie and Violet were 'mini llamas' so, instead of being 6 feet tall, they were only 5 1/2 feet. We thought, "Piece of cake!" Our two full grown Llamas came with 'royalty' papers and a guide book that was close to an inch thick, filled with the do's and don'ts of raising your own llamas for fun or profit. I read the book in 20 minutes and absorbed nothing! I wasn't familiar with farm language yet and didn't know anything about shearing every summer and clipping feet every 5 to 6 months so I underlined all that important farm stuff and handed it over to my soon to be named, Super Farmer, husband. He frowned at me as he flipped though all my underlining and pink high lights. I acted like I didn't notice his indifference while I pointed to all the important stuff like 'They Must be Sheared' and 'No Dogs Should Ever Be Allowed Near Them.' I didn't let on that the dog part worried me since we have a small pack of hounds and I REALLY wanted llamas.
Chad and I learned quickly what llamas liked and what they didn't, which is almost everything. We gained the trust of Sweetie who now gives kisses and have come to be experts on our girls. We and the regular flow of inquisitive visitors enjoy Sweetie and Violet. This summer, our first llama babies will be born. I'm glad we started this adventure together with Llamas! We have learned much about farming and a new kind of commitment to animals (and each other) as we do 'rock-paper-scissors' to see who is going out in the middle of a blizzard to feed, water and chase! Being a farmer is fun and satisfying, especially when I can relax on my antique wicker rocking chair with a frosty glass of raspberry tea, shouting to Super Farmer who is out in the pasture doing the work with more animals than he can count on his fingers and toes. There is a special joy to see Sparky chasing the goat again and to be able to call out, "GO SAVE HER!" And, he does.