The One About The Llama

As long as I can remember I have had a very deep, very unconditional love for animals. All animals*. And, for most of my younger life, this love had been particularly focused on horses.

At 14, after almost 10 years of riding lessons and stable experience, I decided to volunteer at the Albany Theraputic Riding Center. One of my parents would drop me off and I would happily spend hours cleaning out stalls or helping lead one of the horses during lessons. In addition to providing riding therapy to many of the disabled children in the area, the ATRC also was home to a very large travelling petting zoo. There were a lot of goats, several sheep, a few chickens, a pot bellied pig, and two llamas, OJ and Sugar.

Now, when I met OJ, he seemed perfectly nice enough. I was often responsible for feeding and grooming him and we had, I thought, established a very nice relationship with each other. He never tried to spit at me, which I took as a positive sign since llamas can be, well, a little tempermental. I brought him treats from home, and while I still preferred the horses, I must admit to being a bit smitten with OJ. He was so soft and had this goofy look about him and he did this funny little prance when he was excited. I put a picture of him inside my locker.

I thought things were going well. He, apparently, did not.

I entered his corral with a big bucket of grain (and a bit of apple tucked in my pocket) and headed over to the food bin. Rather than coming over to visit, OJ stayed put on the other side of the pen. He barely even looked at me. Oh, I'm sure I said something to him, maybe asked him why he was so grumpy, but I don't remember now. The last thing I really remember was turning around to pour his food out. I never heard him approach me. I definitely never thought he would knock me down and try to kill me.

So, there I was, face down in the mud while OJ sat on my upper back and head. I was sure I was going to die. I'd like to say I saw my life flash before my eyes or something suitably dramatic for such a near-death experience, but I can't. All I could think of was how much people were going to laugh when they found out I was murdered by a llama. A friend of mine had died from meningitis a few years earlier, and the principal held an assembly in order to tell the school that Karen hadn't survived. Laying there, pressed into the earth and the excrement, all I could feel was embarrassed. Once again, I was going to be laughed at (albeit post-mortem) by my entire high school.

*Spiders, crabs and lobsters are not animals.


Blogger Serrephim said...


5:09 PM  
Blogger riseyp said...

This is adorable!

I love the idea of your school laughing at your sad, tragic death in a pile of llama dung.

I wonder what was up with OJ?? Did you cheat on him or something? Fess up!

6:00 PM  
Blogger el_gallo said...

I was going to be laughed at, post-mortem, by my entire high school.
I would think that happening pre-mortem would be even worse.

7:17 PM  
Blogger m said...

I was already being plenty laughed at pre-mortem.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous yeah my name is kelly...jealous said...

so there you were, trapped under a llama. i would never believe you if i din't know you. there is no one like you. glad you survived oj's attack, how did you feel when he was found not guilty? hahaha

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did you get out?

2:33 PM  
Blogger haji-o-matic said...

Llamas are mute and DO NOT taste like chicken.

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Angela De Shazer said...

Did you survive? How did o.j. get off of you? Give me a conclusion god dammit!!!

2:18 PM  
Blogger barbrarian said...

I don't care (sorry), but I still want a llama. They are several thousands of dollars, though, and I don't know where I'd keep one. Plus, Michael wants a dog first.

The next time a llama tries to off you, you must recover by eating lots of the new Ben & Jerry's flavor "Chocolate Therapy." That is my latest obsession. Besides little G.

10:26 AM  
Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Painful. Not just your situation but our's. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Who got him off you? How long did it get to get the dung off you? WHY do you think he went for you?

Tell us, dammit!!


5:06 AM  

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