Aug 16, 2014

Hand Blisters = Goats and Llamas

Goats & Llamas: Less Majestic than Antelopes

I'm reminiscing today.  Because I had blisters last week.  And because I'm bringing myself down with all the serious posts.

My grandparents all live in California.  My dad's mom is out in the remote ranch country on the California/Oregon border.  And when I say "ranch country" I do mean cattle ranches.  Not everyone has cattle (Grandma certainly doesn't), but just about everyone has horses and chickens.

Grandma used to branch out a bit more.  In addition to horses and chickens, she had goats and llamas.  Of the barnyard collection, it was the goats that had the most personality.

Out of some sort of quirk, Grandma named her goats Hillary Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.  They were sisters, but they fought constantly, slamming their hard little heads together.  As children we didn't understand all the implications of the names.  We just knew they were inappropriate and therefore funny.

When we'd visit, Grandma would have us take the goats for walks "to exercise them."  To make it fair, we'd also take the llama that she had at the time, Calvin Klein (for his black "tuxedo" patterns), so that each girl could have an animal to walk.  Despite having plenty of energy to run around their pen and head-butt each other, the goats didn't like walking.  We'd go halfway across the yard, and then Monica Lewinsky would be lying on the ground, refusing to walk, even when Sister3 dragged her a few feet.

Calvin Klein, on the other hand, was all too happy to walk, and even run.  This became apparent when he slipped his head rope and took off running onto the neighbors property.  We spent a good 45 minutes chasing him back and forth along the fence line, trying to corner him, while the neighbors dog had a hysterical meltdown.  (And who can blame him/her?  These intruders just would NOT leave.)

You can imagine that type of exertion really warming a fellow up, so out of the kindness of our hearts, and to protect Calvin Klein from the heat of the summer, we took to our scissors to give him a bit of a haircut.  What we actually ended up doing was cutting large swathes of fur in certain areas, and relatively none in others.  With the lighter, grey color of the inner layer of hair, Calvin Klein quickly became a lot less stylish with black, reddish, and grey patches.

While our llama haircut job was a little sketchy, I had done an excellent job of creating blisters all over my hands.  As you might imagine, llama hair is pretty tough and it takes a fair amount of force to close the scissors through it.  I'd like to say it wasn't just me, but I'm fairly sure I'm the only one whose wimpy hands couldn't handle the job.

And that is how I learned that I have wimpy skin, and why hand blisters always remind me of goats and llamas.

Have you ever walked a llama?  Do you know anyone with unusual pets?

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  1. Fun post, Jenn! Grandma's goats were fat little things, weren't they? They really needed that walking that they resisted so effectively.

    1. Thanks, Momma! I have to admit, they were pretty round, especially in their later days.


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