Saturday, November 28, 2009
Chester, my donkey, is a very friendly guy. He is also extremely persistent. He has spent the last three weeks trying to convince three very haughty llamas that he should be their new friend.
While he has made some progress, it has been pretty slow going. The llamas are not quick to add a new member to their tight knit group. There have been many disagreements, shall we say, along the way. Since Dolly is the mama to the other two llamas and the self-designated leader of the trio, these interactions are mostly between her and Chester and rarely involve the other two.
They generally go something like this...
Dolly will come to the barn gate and ask to come in. She thinks she's really hungry and needs some grain. Please note her ears. They are upright and pointed forward. I've come to learn that this is a llama's at-ease, curious, and non-threatened position:
Chester approaches the barn gate certain that Dolly would like to include him in whatever she is doing. Please note the courteous distance he is trying to maintain from her and the lack of direct eye contact. This is his way of being non-aggressive and non-threatening. Dolly begs to differ and immediately flattens her ears in warning:
Chester, mistakenly thinking he was able to slip in unnoticed, lifts an ear of friendliness:
Recognizing that Chester may not have gotten the "flattened-ear" message, she quickly informs him of her intention to spit in his face. Note Dolly's pursed lips. This helps her to propel her spittle with uncanny accuracy:
The spitting is quite a nasty business and doesn't really solve anything. Please note again the ears. Dolly is still peeved and Chester now has his feelings hurt. Neither, however, budges:
At this point, you can almost hear Dolly's sigh of exasperation. "Will this guy not get the hint?". Look at Chester. He totally gets the hint. But he's still thinking the jaunty ear thing is going to work with her:
Nope. It never does. Poor Chester:
The other morning, Chester had clearly had enough of camelids and wanted some human companionship. As I was mucking out the stalls, he found that I had not latched the gate to the barn behind me. He's very smart:
In he walked, to the llamas' amazement. They couldn't believe their big brown eyes and started to follow him:
He then turned around and shut the gate right in their faces:
They haughtily turned tail and showed him their butts. He didn't care. He was in the barn and they weren't:
Who needs words?