Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spitting as a form of communication, part 1

-or- Becoming fluent in another language

Everyone knows the reputation llamas have for spitting, right? I had certainly heard about it before I got my three llama girls, but I'd never really seen it happen. Now, it's pretty much an every day occurrence here on the farm.

I've posted before about poor Chester getting a faceful:

That boy just seems to have a way of pushing those girls that no one else does:

In the llamas' defense, though, they do usually give the offending party very clear warning signs prior to the actual event. It all starts with "the glare":

It's really quite important to recognize "the glare":

If you think maybe you see "the glare", check the ears. If the angry look is accompanied with ears flat against their heads, then it's time to pay attention:

If the offending party chooses to ignore the glaring message, phase two is engaged. Heads go straight up:

Even now it is still usually possible to avoid the spit. Turning away and avoiding eye contact can sometimes diffuse the situation. If avoidance maneuvers aren't immediately taken however, those pursed lips will send a spray of spittle that most individuals will never want to experience a second time:

I, myself, have received the spit treatment just once since I've been a llama mama. It was pretty yucky and it was immediately following this picture:

I am very fluent in "the glare" now.

Chester, who doesn't seem to have the sense not to tease the llamas, has at least learned to turn his head at the precise moment pre-spit so it doesn't go into his eyes:

Poor Beau, though, is still learning. He got it smack dab on the forehead the other day:

Fortunately for all of us, usually what comes out of their mouths is a wet spray...spittle mixed with a few grass and hay bits, perhaps with a peppering of carrot pieces. Sometimes, though, when they're really peeved, the really nasty green slime makes an appearance:

While I don't have a photo of the actual event, only the slimy mouth of the spitter, can you guess who the recipient of the nasty green stuff was? Go ahead, just guess:

33 comments:

  1. Nope. NO llaammaass at Cedar View. Nope.

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  2. Poor little sweet Chester. Don't those llamas know that a little teasing is good for them? Ha gross!

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  3. eeewwww...llama spit! I've heard of, but never seen, such vivid pictures of the action until now. Thanks, Danni! Poor Chester and Beau. Will they ever learn?

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  4. Poor Chester! But omg he is lucky those glares don't kill. WOW!

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  5. This is a hilarious post. Thanks for the tutorial... I do feel secure now knowing the warning signs for imminent llama spitting. :) Those glares are serious and those girls aren't messing around! Great pictures llama mama!

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  6. Thank God cats don't spit! Can you imagine? Slimy AND smells like dead fish?! Yuck!

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  7. Chester...I too have been spat upon. I feel for ya bud!!

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  8. Oh, my GOATNESS! Those donkey boys bviously need GLASSES! Get them to a Donkometrist immediately! Oy.

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  9. Ah he looks so humiliated by having slime on his face, oh and that look, is that where the saying came from if looks could kill.

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  10. Oh Chester Buddy. . . you really need to learn better avoidance techniques! The green llama goo is just too nasty. I think the only smell to approach it is fresh skunk. :-P

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  11. Wow, what an education you've given me today . . . I knew they spit, but I had no idea of the prior body language that accompanied it, nor did I ever dream it was a slimy green gross goooooeeeee mess. But now I know, and I'll keep away from them when they're having a bad attitude . . . they need a time out!

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  12. highly entertaining today...and I needed it! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but your narration is priceless. thanks for the fun (at poor Chester's expense, though).

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  13. Laughed hysterically all through this post. Sorry Beau, but your pic started the tears and the begining of the side ache. Um, Danni, thanks for llama lessons. I can say I really don't think there will be any llamas here!

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  14. I think I have had everything else on me, but no spit. I have seen llama's in this postition and had heard they spit, so I was leary when we were looking at them.Good thing I didn't get too close.

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  15. Great tutorial! I, too, am laughing out loud, along with the rest of your readers! I've heard about llama spit, but never imagined it could be green & yucky! I'd be leaving immediately when "the glare" begins! Run, Chester, run!
    -Lynn

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  16. it looks like you should call the ghostbusters!!! ewwwwww! poor chester.

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  17. Wow. That glare is amazing. And unmistakable, I think..... Poor donk boys. I got a snicker out of Chester knowing when to turn his head though. Ha! I suspect he just likes annoying those girls.....

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  18. Wow! I think I'd rather have them glare at me all day and leave off the spit. Wonder how long Chester is going to persue this relationship? He's quite persistant isn't he? Gotta love a guy that has such a postive outlook.

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  19. ROFL well its not like they don't get warned tee hee...guess the boys think its just to much fun getting those llamas worked up and worth the spittle splat LOL

    I can hear Chester and Beau in the early morning planning the day,,, whoever gets one of the llamas worked up enough to spit first. gets the extra grain left in the bin today... deal?

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  20. I loved the language and non-verbal lesson!

    BUT -- What is really important today? It's farmgirl's birthday, everyone! And a difficult birth she was!(ha,ha!)
    Have a wonderful birthday, sweet girl!
    I LOVE YOU!

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  21. Your are such a wonderful story- teller, have you thought of making a blog2book? I would love to read the entire story of Critter Farm and how great for you to reflect back on it all when you get my age.

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  22. Ahaahahahahah! The spitting....okay, so while its not funny that Chet and Beau have been spat upon...I do find it funny to think about what is actually setting these girls off....I mean, cmon...when I was there, it could have merely been someone looking at them in what they felt was an "inappropriate" way :-) And in their defense, they DO give ample warning before they shoot off a good one. They try to play nice and follow rules. Even if it is their own set of rules. :-)And to see the poor girls after a spit...well, sigh, I think one may feel for them just a bit when they witness PSB, "post spit behavior"....

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  23. I have had the pleasure of being spit on by a llama but I just spit right back.
    Happy Birthday farmgirl!

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  24. Uh, eeewwww! At least there are warning signs. Too bad they can't tell you if they're going to spit a little grass and salvia, or if it's going to be a big green blob.

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  25. Oh poor Chester...he just wants to be friends with those haughty girls. LOL

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  26. Oh girl, you are so right. When you see the look, you know you'd better look OUT! Loved this funny post! hee hee.

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  27. Oooh, I have been spat on by a llama. At a zoo. I was an innocent bystander. It is disgusting!

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  28. My camera has been at the wet end of llama spit on occasion...I am just so very thankful that the camel has never learned. Not THAT would be gross!

    Super post, Kim

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