Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Such a Happy Girl!

I am such a happy girl tonight! When I got home from school today I changed into something more comfortable, opened the mail, read the paper and started dinner. It is such a mild day for November that I thought I would just go out and spend some time in the pasture. I donned my white fleece jacket. I have found that Mango seems to be attracted to this one maybe since it is the same color as she is. I strolled on out to the pasture and entered through the barn. I started to open up the gate and as an afterthought I backed up and dug into the food bin for a handful of sweet feed. We have been using this to lure the girls into the catch pen leading up to the day when we will close the gate and try to harness them. (Plan B, if you read the earlier blog on how NOT to corral alpacas) I stood just outside the barn door, leaning on a fence post with one hand in my pocket and the other close to my body about waist high holding the handful of sweet feed. All three girls came to within two feet of me but only Mango came closer. She came right up to me and sniffed my jacket and sniffed at the feed in my hand but would not take a bite. She backed off for a few minutes and then returned, only to sniff but not eat. I stayed by the fence post for almost 10 minutes until my feet were numb from standing still in one spot.

Then I decided to cross the pasture and go into the catch pen just to see if the girls might be more receptive to the feed if I were in the spot they were used to receiving it. I dribbled a few grains into the pan and then backed up against the fence inside the pen. Boy did they change their tune then. All three of the girls trotted eagerly into the pen. Mama Took was the first to the pan. She nibbled at the grains in the pan, pushing Leeza and Mango away with her head whenever either one of them tried to eat. Took was positively greedy for the little bit of sweet feed. When she finished the treat in the pan she lifted her head and sniffed in my direction. I was almost afraid to breathe. I couldn't believe what happened next. She took two steps forward and put her nose right down into my hand and nibbled away at the treat. I could feel her breath on my skin and the slight touch of her lips in my palm as she nibbled up all of the sweet feed. She lifted her head, looked me in the eye for a second and then turned and trotted back out into the pasture. Mango and Leeza followed her.

Before tonight, I would have bet money that Mango would be the first to eat out of our hands because she is so curious and because she is the one who consistently approaches and sniffs at me. I knew that Leeza probably wouldn't ever eat our of our hands because she is so timid. Took is usually the one with her ears drawn back humming a warning at Mango when the baby gets to close to us. Apparently the lure of sweet feed was too strong to resist.

Took looking for more, please?

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