The Silly Case of the Melted Llama

Now that it’s too cold to use our above-ground water pipes, I must hike up to the barn every day to refill a huge water tank for the steers and sheep. As I do, I always pass Tucker on the way. 

As you can see, Tucker is very much alive.

When I reach the barn, I lift the handle of the orange water hydrant, and water begins filling the big tank. While it fills, I look around. I look into the barn. I see a large pile of something toward the back of the barn:


My heart races. Then I stop and look behind me to where the sheep hang out. There’s Tucker. As you can see, Tucker is very much alive.

Then I remember that this summer, when it was so horribly hot and humid, Melissa took Tucker to the back of the barn and sheared him. She was too busy to pick it up, and since there are no animals using that area, we left the pile of llama wool. (Fiber people, relax. His fleece isn’t that great, and is terribly dirty.) So I laugh at myself and calm down. 

The next day? I pass Tucker on the way to the big barn. He is alive.

Then I reach the barn, turn on the hydrant, and look into the barn. OH MY GOD! TUCKER IS DEAD. HE HAS MELTED INTO THE BARN FLOOR!

Seriously. This happens every flippin’ day. So why don’t I pick up the fleece?

—Because I’ve learned that it’s not a good idea to walk away from the water tank as it fills—when it overflows, I have a mud lake on my hands. 

—Because I’m too busy gazing out over the farm.

—Because I’m too busy fending off the vicious steers living in the pen with the hydrant. This is a steer trying to consume the flap on my coat pocket.

—This is a steer trying to consume the camera I’m holding way above my head.

No matter the distraction, when the tank is full, I shut off the hydrant and walk back to the house.  Then I repeat the above steps the next day.

So why don’t I pick up that stupid fleece so I stop scaring myself every day? 

Some people get their adrenaline rush by driving in heavy traffic or fighting their way to the front of the latte line, or having a crisis at work.  

I know we’ll pick the fleece up eventually, probably late this fall when we let the sheep into the barn. Until then, I’ll continue to get my little OMG HE’S DEAD jolt every day when I see the melted llama. 

It’s sad, I know, but hey—It’s cheaper than a can of Diet Coke, and provides twice the stimulation!

13 thoughts on “The Silly Case of the Melted Llama

  1. Thanks so much for your stories and sense of humor. Us “farm girls” need something to keep us going thru the winter months.
    Sandy Nichols of Cape Cod but visiting Iowa this week.

  2. I had to remove my last post due to bad grammar…sheesh.

    Don’t pick up the fiber before the snow falls so when your snow pack melts you have a surprise all over again!

    I just finished “sheepish”; thanks. It was a wonderful read though I think I annoyed my spouse with the guffaws and snorts from my side of the bed! It was nice to meet your lovely family. Thank you for telling the world that sheep aren’t stupid!

  3. That is so funny, I have the same problem, where I startle at anything that looks like the crumpled lump of a dead animal- only to usually find that it’s something that fooled my eyes from distance or dusk. It must be sensitization to the shock and adrenaline rush of finding a real downed or dead animal- my eyes will see it in a pile of hay, the shadow of a recently moved trough, or the form of a snoozing, lazy dog. My heart lurches, I take my mind to task to approach and see what it is before panicking, and then, usually, it’s nothing!

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