Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pay Attention! Or, STOMP!!

Looks lovely, doesn't it? And it's my fault. First, I did what I would have yelled at any novice animal handler NOT to do, I wore light shoes to work with the llamas. This would not have been so bad, if I had not committed mistake number 2.

I was trying to let Lorenzo out. I feed the llamas one at a time, they eat more, (they are underweight. Well, except for Rama, I think she could fatten up on rocks...), and they don't fight. That is, as llamas fight, spitting and snarling at one another. All in all, a lot more civilized than some animals I've seen. (Although it does remind me of a second grade classroom I assisted in once...) Nonetheless, they don't want to be in spit range of each other.

I was in a hurry, I had one llama left to feed after Lorenzo, and wanted him out of the corral. Lama, the head and undisputed boss llama, was in the exit chute. This wouldn't have been a problem, but she likes me, and wanders back UP the chute when I don't close the end of it. She did. Again, I didn't pay any attention to this fact. Lorenzo did.

To encourage them to leave, I pat them on the rump. No go. Oookay, push on rump. Still no go. GO, silly! There is where my mistake #2 occurred. If the llama (or any animal) doesn't want to do something, check if there is a valid reason, before trying harder... Ignoring the obviously blatant attempts by Lorenzo not to be spit at by Lama, I pushed harder. Lorenzo, lacking the ability to turn around and say "DUMB S***, I don't want to be that close to her mouth!", he did the next best thing. He planted both feet firmly, so he wouldn't go forward. And guess where MY foot was? Ahem.

I knew better than to yelp, or they might both panic. Thank all that is holy, Lorenzo didn't think he had good enough purchase on the ground (read: my foot), and so moved his foot. I managed to get between them, move Lama OUT of the chute, CLOSE the exit, THEN worry about letting Lorenzo out. Problem solved.

Lesson learned. I didn't break anything, it just looks butt ugly. I will not be wearing fashionable flip-flops out soon... And I will actually look, perhaps, next time, so we won't have this little argument... I think that would be appreciated by both sides. I know my toe would like it.

A lot.

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