Visiting husband’s cousin in Lincolnshire in her new “granny annexe” we wondered what her new surroundings would be like. She lives in a small, cosy cottage, across the way from the “big house” where her daughter and family live. The “big house” is a barn conversion, with plenty of garden space and a small paddock.
We were greeted by the occupants of the paddock – three young alpacas – who came to nibble the dry food we’d been given to say hello to them with and get off to a friendly start.I’ve never been near an alpaca and was immediately smitten by these delicate, beautiful creatures. Eric, the light brown one, was the friendliest. Alfie and Saunders were a bit more wary but soon came over when they realised food was on offer.
All I knew about alpacas was that they are kept for their wool, which is shorn once a year, and that they can spit if they feel threatened. We were assured that these were so friendly they were not going to spit (hence the food to greet them with, no doubt).
Eric was like a woolly teddybear, with a thick curly coat. He’s a bit of a stunner and he captured my heart pretty fast. Alfie is all white and has a habit of rolling on the ground, ending up with a black back, and Saunders has a bit of a tooth problem. All three of them are still young and Saunders was in the process of losing his two lower front teeth. He looked quite goofy.
They are being kept as pets, and are taken out on leads into the village for walks (I bet the villagers wondered about these newcomers who had moved in when they first saw them being walked!). Saunders of the goofy teeth had recently been shorn. This is supposed to happen once a year and the fleece doesn’t fetch that much.
What really fascinated me was the sounds they make – tiny cooing/oo-ing noises, gentle sounds which match the overall appeal of these delightful animals.