One of the big “benefits” I had, being full time on the farm, was that I was flexible in my time and was able to help out at my children’s school and their field trips. I made sure all the animals were well taken care of in the morning before I left. I have to admit, I am not really a morning person and do a lot of things “on auto pilot”. I have my routine and everything goes just fine. When the routine gets disturbed and the brain is not fully awake, things tend to go “not that fine”. Here the story:
Michael and I left bright and early one day for a very exciting end of the year school trip to a horse farm. The children were taught how to saddle the horses, their basic care and after a few rounds in the arena, they all were able to go on a trail ride. Us parents were there to help out when needed but mainly enjoyed a beautiful summer day and watch our children having a great time.
At lunch we all gathered in the dining hall and were just ready to have lunch, when the owner of the farm came over and was asking for me by name. Now you must know that this was before cell phone era! She told me my real estate agent had called her and that my alpacas were on the road!
Wow, slight panic attack now! My car was parked at the school, the school trip would go past regular school hours and we would not be leaving for another couple of hours. People started to offer help immediately. I got a car ride back to the school, hoped in my car and was “flying home” to our little farm in no time. I parked the car and my daughter, Anna who had beaten me home on her school bus, came running back from the barn shouting: “Mom, Mom there is a baby in the ditch!”
A huge semi truck was blocking the country road so the alpacas could not go up to the main highway! There they were, my whole female herd was munching grass along the country lane, enjoying their outing. They had already a little poop pile in the middle of the road, obviously they had been out for a while.
The baby had not been born long, it was still wet. I picked the cria up and carried it back to the barn for closer inspection. It looked just fine and I put it in the hay and was ready to herd some alpacas back to the barn. This angel of a truck driver was still there and tried to help us herd them back. But these girls had no intention to go back and evaded the three of us constantly.
Finally I came to my senses and realized we can’t herd them but I could lure them. Back I went to the barn, not for feed but for the cria. I wasn’t sure yet who the mother was, there was too much running and chasing going on. I showed the alpacas the cria and mom, Penny, came running immediately. Sniffing her little one, giving me dirty looks for touching it and followed me back to the barn and the pasture. All the other females followed her and I only had to put the cria down, close the gate and watch Penny nursing her baby.
So what had happened. They got out quite easily. I hadn’t locked the gate properly. I assure you, alpacas find every unsecured gate and take advantage of it. The truck driver had seen them on the road and as nobody was home, had called the number on the “For Sale” sign in front of the farm. My agent had figured out that I must be on that field trip and, as she is a local farmer herself, made the connection with the horse farmer.
Magic of small town and rural living!
The cria was a beautiful white girl. If it had been a boy I would have called him Ditch, but she was far to innocent looking to get such a harsh sounding name. We named her Daisy for her late grand mother.
I don’t think I thanked this angel of a truck driver properly. I was rather flustered and upset and did not ask for a name. If you ever read this, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your help was surly needed and greatly appreciated. Thank You!