It occurred to me a couple of days ago that, for a blog that purported to be about ‘raising llamas’, we had posted precious little about said animals in recent weeks. So Simon got out the video camera and accompanied me on my usual morning jaunt to the Breeders, to get a little updated footage of ‘The Baby’.
No, we STILL haven’t decided on a name. Somehow, all the names we’d considered just don’t seem right anymore. I had the same issue with naming my children actually. I don’t know how or why, but sometimes you can just look at a child (or llama) and know deep down, with absolute certainty, that they simply are not a Terry or an Evelyn. Don’t ask me how you can tell anything about a child’s (or cria’s) personality in their early days in this world. But somehow, once you’ve seen them in the flesh, so to speak, and heard their distinctive cry, and touched them, and even smelled them, you can tell if the name works. I guess it’s just an intuition kinda thing. But, whatever the reason, I can’t be happy until the name fits. As Confucius (that ol’ barrel-of-laughs) used to say:
If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things.
Of course, our crazy notion of naming all our future llama offspring (females anyway) after French flowers does tend to be a bit limiting. Especially if, like Simon, you insist that the flower name should also already be a recognised (French) child’s name. And because my French accent is so rubbish, I’m keen to avoid anything with an ‘r’ in it (which seems to rule out about fifty percent of the remaining possibilities). So we seem to be down to a shortlist of four.
In the spirit of interactive blogging, we’d like to invite comments on our shortlist (preferably not rude ones, unless they are also incredibly witty and amusing). I’m not saying we’ll go so far as to let the majority vote decide – democracy has so many flaws – but interesting and constructive comments will be valued, and possibly acted upon. In the immortal words of an erstwhile manager, “this is a consultation, not a referendum”.
So here are the possible names, with some thoughts of our own:
Lilas (pronounced Leela) meaning Lilac. The darker patches in her fibre have a sort of mauve-tinge.
Violette (pronounced Vee-o-lett) meaning (not surprisingly) Violet. Same reasoning as above – but Simon thinks Violet is an old lady’s name.
Molène (pronounced Moll-enn) meaning Mullein. She looks like she’s going to grow into a big, tall thing (like her Mum, Elif). Mulleins are wild and hardy, with woolly leaves. They have a tendency to pop up unexpectedly, grow very tall, and survive in poorly cultivated conditions. Molène can be shortened to Molly for everyday use.
Silène (pronounced Sill-enn) meaning Campion. White campion of course – a wild, hedgerow flower. Or possibly even Bladder Campion (as you will see from the video below, she has developed an irritating habit of weeing in the catch-pen every day on the same spot). Can be shortened to Silly for everyday use (as if we would…).
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Speaking of the video, I was actually (apparently) supposed to just be writing a commentary to it, rather than drifting off into the usual rambling discourse, so…..
Things to look out for in the video:
1. Baby is already very good at hoovering up dried leaves to eat. Not only do llamas make excellent lawn-mowers and hedge-trimmers, in the spring and summer. In autumn and winter they also act as leaf-vacuumers, and debris-clearers. The perfect four-in-one garden tool.
2. In the background, Pedro is being taken to be tied to the gate for his daily grooming. He would be more willing, if it wasn’t for the ever-presence of Fatma and Elif, who will not clear off when they think they might be missing out on something tasty. (Pedro gets rewarded for his stoic acceptance of the annoying process, with a little extra handful of concentrate).
3. Baby llamas love nibbling shoe-laces. And clothes. And rope-ends. And hair. Just about anything that gets within the vicinity of their mouths actually. Like teething toddlers, I guess.
4. Hungry baby llamas will have a go at suckling from any milk-producing adults that happen to be around. They don’t get far though….
5. Yes, that is a cannabis leaf on the yellow carrier bag full of food hanging on the fence-post. This might partially explain the funny looks I get when walking through the village on my way up to feed the llamas.
Shortly after Simon filmed this bit of footage, crazy baby had one her mad half-hours, charging around the field and boinging up and down in a fast, fiery and very physical celebration of her criahood. “Excellent – this’ll make a wonderful video for the blog!”
Simon ‘filmed’ it all.
Only he didn’t.
When he came to look at what he’d recorded later, he discovered that, in the excitement of the moment, he had pressed stop when he meant go, and go when he meant stop. So he’d actually recorded bits of the ground and his feet doing nothing, in between the bursts of cria-action, which he had so carefully and consistently followed with a non-recording camera.
Best not give up the day-job, eh? Oops…too late 😉