Catch me if you can… (Part 1)Posted: October 19, 2013
Who knew llamas could be so ornery, cantankerous and stubborn. Lets not forget to add cocky, agile, as well as a keen sense of timing. Oh, and apparently they use teamwork. With different species…
Ask me how I know this, g’head, ask.
I’m glad you did! Frenchie, our llama, escaped Tuesday evening. It was a well orchestrated escape. Precision timing and teamwork, combined with opportunity, made this one an escape story for the books. It has it all, well, everything except explosions. I couldn’t figure out how to work those in. So to set the mood, go out on YouTube and play the theme from the old Mission Impossible show. That’s how it started, seriously, I swear I heard that music. Allow me to introduce you to the cast of characters in this story. Take a moment to watch the video. I shot it and my daughter Raye edited it like a pro…
After a typical day at work I had to stop to get some feed and some caulk to fix a roof leak. This meant I was running late. There were showers forecast for the evening and I had little light left to get up there and make the repair. I had already called Mary and coordinated with her to feed with our daughter Raye while I did the repair. I knew she’d be happy to help that night since the leak is over her room, mwuuhahaha. After getting all the stuff I headed for home. Everything was normal up to the point where I arrived. In retrospect I should have suspected something. At the very least, my situational awareness was not up to par. I was almost home. The sanctuary of my ranch, my home. What could possibly happen? My first clue might have been that the herd was milling “innocently” about the fence line next to the road as I drove up. Until they saw me. Then their carefully laid plan almost started to unravel. They could not contain their excitement and started jumping around and moving toward the gate.
Silly me, I thought they were just happy to see me.
They were actually. It turns out they had been planning this for months. I’m sure they practiced at night while everyone else slept. Likely bribing the roosters to shut up for a while so we wouldn’t awaken and bust them. My second clue was watching Frenchie aka ‘Houdini’, start running toward the gate. She was coy though. Take a few bounds, stop, walk slow. Keep the human off-balance. It worked. It looked to me like I had plenty of time to get the truck inside the gate and close it behind me before they would be “on me”. I knew llamas could sprint. I just wasn’t expecting this one to sprint right out the gate right that moment. Her success was immediate once she got between me and the gate. She had won at that moment, however, the plan was still in action. No chances were being taken. I couldn’t go after her. Obviously phase two of the plan kicked in at this point. The rest of the excited herd started milling about and threatened to get out as well. This cleverly forced me into having to dash the gate closed with me still inside the fence to prevent more escapes. Mind you, I left the door to the truck open while doing this. A mistake that would bite me shortly. Frenchie was now clear, but the flawless execution of “the plan” continued.
Pistol, aka ‘Eye Candy’, our hand raised lamb, is extremely agile and has the ability to appear out of nowhere. Usually right under your feet. This part of the plan still relied on subterfuge. Pistol always wants her sheep treats. The come in the big red truck, so when that shows up, it’s treat time. No matter where, no matter when. I still can’t say for certain if Frenchie actually included Pistol in the detailed planning sessions or if she simply relied on Pistols rock solid predictability. Either way, it worked like a charm. Now I am trying to get this lamb out of my way. First I have to get her head out of the truck. Then get her out-of-the-way of the door so her head doesn’t get smashed. Then close the now clear door. And finally, get by her to get back to the gate. Pistol’s job was now done. Now it was time for phase three. It was time for Rambo, aka ‘Muscles’, to take over.
As you may recall, I recently tried to “educate” Rambo on proper corral etiquette during feeding time. This seemed to have one obvious effect on him. He instantly had respect for the cattle prod. That just didn’t include me personally. And while sheep are not the most intelligent animals on the planet, they do appear to be smart enough to recognize when “de hooman do not hab his hurty stick” with him. I’m seriously thinking about getting one for the truck now. This is where Rambo joined in the fracas and starts to try to head butt me. Mind you, I’m already very mentally distracted. I’ve been caught with my situational awareness completely gone. And I’ve basically been forced to try to multi-task during this ordeal since so many things were happening all at once. Have I ever mentioned that I’m wired serially, not in parallel? For you non computer or electrically literate out there, in a parallel circuit, many things can happen together at basically the same time. They function much like women do with their spaghetti wired brains that can fire all synapses simultaneously and not explode. In a serial circuit, only one thing can happen at a time. That one thing can be done well and it can be done fast. It cannot, however, be combined with anything else or it will turn into a poo sandwich in short order. THAT is how I am wired. Multi bad, serial good! This was definitely a multi situation. Back to Rambo. When he butts you, he has a problem that works against him. For some reason he has to back up a few steps in order to get an effective butt in. If you close on him and put your hand on his head when he steps back, it completely frustrates his efforts. That’s great if that’s all you have to do and you don’t have any other distractions going on at the same time. Remember, multi bad. BAD multi! BAD! Aaaaaaannnnd POW! Yup, Rambo knocked me right on my keister. Don’t know if this is the second or third time this has happened now. The little toot is talented in this area, not to mention persistent.
So, there I was ( a line that has started many a great story), flat on my keister. Hoping that Rambo would stop and not “kick” me while I was down (he didn’t). While Frenchie was doing her little silent llama laugh outside the gate while munching on the really nice grass that is just over the fence. I’m sure it taunts her daily that she can’t reach it. The plan was a complete success. The ‘hooman’ was defeated, the llama was free, and the entire herd enjoyed a well deserved dose of laughter therapy. Whew, I get tired just writing all of that and the story is just getting started! I think I will leave the rest until Part 2. So stay tuned until next time! Same llama time, same llama channel!