Thursday, May 26, 2005

The wading pool

Alpacas are endlessly entertaining to those (like us) who enjoy watching animals graze and occasionally pronk around the pasture, but ours were especially so this morning when I put a wading pool into their pasture.

We are finally having some warm weather, after a soggy April and May. Yesterday it made it up to 85 degrees, and today it is supposed to reach 90 degrees. Our alpacas are shorn, and they have plenty of shade in the pastures and the barn, so we are not actually concerned that they will become too hot, but I know they enjoy being cool. I have seen pictures of alpacas lying down on soaker hoses and in kiddie wading pools, and Cabernet has upturned a number of buckets by putting her feet in them over and over again. So this morning I decided to drag the pool we used for Tigger last year into the alpaca’s pasture and fill it with water. Then I went to take a shower.

Naturally, the alpacas ignored it for a good 45 minutes. They knew that it was there, but they pretended not to notice or care. As I sat down to my cereal, the girls lead by Cabernet surrounded the blue pool. First, they drank out of it, then Cabernet delicately dipped one foot into the water. Then she began kicking at the water. I think she wanted to splash the water onto her belly. Consuella began to do the same thing, reaching well over the edge of the pool with her front leg, like she was doing high-kicks. She, too, was trying to splash water onto her belly. There was much maneuvering as the two alpacas tried to get both front legs into the 4-foot wide pool, although there wasn’t any real fighting.

Finally, Consuella cushed next to the pool. She looked a little surprised that her belly wasn’t wet. Dawn came and cushed next to her while Cabernet continued to splash. Consuella got back up, put her front feet into the pool, and then cushed onto the edge of the pool! It didn’t look especially comfortable, but she stayed there for a while. Cabernet thought this was a good idea, and cushed next to Consuella in the same way, front legs in, back legs out! They were like a couple of bikini-babes—all they needed were a couple of tall drinks.

Suddenly, Cosuella and Cabernet got out of the pool and ran to the dust bath where they had a good roll. While they were doing this, Dawn cushed ½ in and ½ out of the pool too. They must like the pool since they spent the next half hour occupied by getting wet, rolling in the dust, and then pronking around.

As I said…alpacas are endlessly entertaining. I’ll have pictures up on soon.


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