Life is replete with opportunities, mostly long past. I remember the time I could have dated one of two pretty girls, but I prevaricated and lost both (truly I was Buridan's Ass. arse). If I had my time over again I would have gone out with both and developed impeccable time keeping and stamina. What has this story got to do with today’s post? Absolutely nothing at all, I happen to be in a wistful mood.
Last weekend we had a visit from an ex-colleague. The trip from where we used to live to our new place is about 2 hours so it is not unusual to have visitations from old friends and colleagues. Dr Mugumbo (for it is she) mentioned that an old neighbour of hers was ensconced but not 6 leagues away and owned a small holding containing a coterie of farm animals. Nothing particularly remarkable in that, you say. After all Flaxen you are a resident of rural New Zealand and no doubt a shining pillock of the community. It transpires that said neighbour has a neutered male Alpaca on the property which is surplus to requirements and is available free to a good new home. Would I be interested in taking on said Alpaca? My forehead creased in thoughtful appraisal. A rivulet of sweat emerged upon my well-formed brow and meandered with senseless abandon across a forehead lined with age, humour and wisdom. Before you ask, I was performing a head stand at the time.
To be honest, I know very little about these animals apart from the fact that they are originally from South America and that they are related to Camels. In thoughtful repose I entered my well-appointed study and searched for the relevant tome on my bookshelf. And there it was in resplendent glory: ‘All you need to know about Alpacas but were too Drunk to Comprehend’. Instead after much fruitless contemplation I decided to Gogle the subject instead. Here is the profit of my labour, in no particular order:
1. Alpacas spit when pissed off, just like their cousins, Llamas. Generally, this is reserved for their own kind, just keep out the line of fire.
2. They tend to poo in the same place, thus making a huge steaming shit mound.
3. Alpacas were domesticated by the Incas more than 6,000 years ago and raised for their exquisite fleece. Due to its quality, alpaca fibre was reserved exclusively for the elite and nobility.
4. Alpacas were not reared for their carrying abilities, unlike Llamas, due to their gracile habitus, but prized for their fine exquisite fleece.
5. They were introduced into Tipton in 1900 during the great pig pud and ferret wobbling depression. No shit, Flaxen.
6. These critters are tough and can survive in extreme habitats.
7. They eat grass and shrubberies, dats it.
8. Did I mention that they are tough? Anyway, they require little shelter regardless of ambient conditions.
9. They are dead cute.
10. They get fleeced once a year. Everyone else gets fleeced by the gov’nent all the time…
We decided to visit the Alpaca on a cold, windy, wet Spring day. Ted seemed curious when we approached his paddock although he maintained a wary and respectful distance. I was struck by his air of melancholy undoubtedly due to his solitude. Alpacas require company with their own kind and therefore I would need to look for another Alpaca to keep him content. Luckily, a neighbour has a neutered female which she would also give up for the esteemed fee of nowt, including delivery. Why should I be festooned by such beneficence? Perhaps fate, in all its majesty, has determined my future? And my future looks very Alpacy (not a real word).
Ted and friend are to be delivered next Wednesday. Both animals are on a 2-week approval. Seems like a plan. If it all goes tits up I can harvest the buggers for their meat. Only kidding, I’m an animal lover at heart, except dem pesky rabbits. Wat’s up Doc?