Friday, April 20, 2012

Thoughts on being a...llama mama?

A lady who works in the same building stopped me in the hallway a few weeks ago and asked me how I liked being a Llama Mama.

Hmmm...I wasn't sure how to respond.

We often try to tactfully correct people when they ask us about "our llamas" when we actually own alpacas.  We totally get that we are talking about animals in the same family and that they are easily confused by people not familiar with the species.  The last thing we want to do is to make someone feel bad about taking an interest in our farm.  Our tactic has been to respond positively and slip "alpaca" into the response.  It might go something like this:

Friend:  "How are the llamas?"
Us (with a friendly smile and kind tone):  "Our alpacas are great."
Friend: "Oh, that's right.  You have alpacas."

Our whole goal - no one gets harmed in the making of the awkward conversation.  Our strategy usually works.

The phrase Llama Mama just struck me as so funny.  I have a lot of appreciation for her catchy rhyme - llama mama.  If I owned a CB radio, that might be my handle.

I tried to gracefully respond to her acknowledgement and move the conversation along.  I learned that she and her husband would soon be acquiring llamas - llamas, not alpacas mistaken for llamas.  She was asking for advice and I tried to be helpful, while footnoting every comment with a phrase that let her know my advice was based on what we have learned from owning alpacas and may not be very helpful.

In case you are wondering, alpacas are smaller in height and body size when compared to a llama.  Some will say that a llama can be twice as big as an alpaca.   Alpacas fiber is generally considered to be softer and finer and in a single coat.  Llamas have a rougher textured outer coat and a softer inner coat. Even though llamas are bigger, alpacas can typically produce more fiber.  Llamas are notoriously good guard animals that can protect alpacas, goats, sheep and other animals from predators like coyotes.  Some of our friends who own larger herds of alpacas have llamas as guard animals.  In fact, if we had a larger farm and had our alpacas out on open pasture, we would have a llama to help guard the boys.

A few days after the Llama Mama conversation, I turned in some winning scratch lottery tickets.  From time to time, I enjoy picking up some lottery tickets for my husband as a little surprise gift.  My practice is to ask the sales clerk to pick whichever tickets he or she thinks is lucky.  The last time I stopped, the clerk handed me a string of Llama Loot Tripler tickets.  We got a kick out of the subject matter and the timing was perfect.

Over and out,
Llama Mama

1 comment:

Home on the Range Exchange said...

I literally laughed out loud. What a great post. I can just see you in a vintage pick up on the CB!