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Friday, 4 June 2010

At the Barber’s

I feel good!
Today, I had a very little, or at least relatively little trundle around bits of Alston Moor with Brian. Some sitting about was done. Bruno was quite pleased to be along after such a long gap.
alston moor and happy dog
In fact, to celebrate, he chased a deer for a while, but losing sight of it, he followed the scent, but in the wrong direction. I was quite pleased when he returned to me on a recall, even over quite a large distance. So no harm done, and the lad got a bit of praise too, which always cheers him up.
by the nent
at the mine
We were, in fact, killing time whilst waiting for the arrival of the Alpaca Shearer.
Alpacas have an odd way of communicating, they sound a bit like a charabanc full of old ladies going “Hmmm” in a kind of bemused yet vaguely amused kind of way.
the waiting room
And so the alpacas were herded into a sheep pen and the Shearer gave instructions on which direction he wanted them sent within the fold – sheep pens have a direction, y’know – for the processing of sheep for some kind of treatment. Or alpacas. Today it was clockwise.
the first cut is the deepest
So I guarded an exit and Brian herded the animals through the pen and, on appearing at the other side, the shearer and his assistant ambushed them, and bundled one out to be strapped to a table for a haircut, toenail maintenance, inoculations and insecticide rub. Many objected  and some just took it like an alpaca.
One by one the gentlemen (they were all boys, or at least ex-boys) were given a right going over.
only three left
The shearer’s three sheepdogs hid under his van and came out now and then to stalk the growing herd of gawky shorn mini camels.
These animals are just a bit strange. They are curious and nervous and the niggle and kick each other.
And occasionally, they spit. They spit a large quantity of green stuff which, in my case, appeared to be semi-digested nettles and some other green stuff. And they spit a long distance. Brian got it in the ear, I got it at the back of the neck and the nearby tree was sprayed a few times.
The process looks cruel, but apart from the indigity, and being scared for ten minutes, no harm was done and, after a minute or so grazing, they seem to have forgotten all about it. They live in and for the moment, it would seem.
two of the sheepdogs
What fun. I don’t believe the alpacas enjoyed it much, but it did make a change from slugging through the blasted wastes of Caledonia with a dead camera.  Its working now, almost anyway. It just takes pictures. You can’t do date set up or change the type of photo you want or anything. Point and fire with face recognition and auto-flash.
Whatever next?


Frugal Life UK said...

oh how funny! what peculiar animals

Mike Knipe said...

They're a bit like Monty Python housewives (think Mrs Refrigerator) and they bitch at each other all the time.
Apart from the spitting, though, they're quite good fun.