Friday, March 8, 2013

How to Shear a Llama

Start with sedation.

"How did we do this last year?" the vet asks. Llambert the Llama is our equine vet's only llama.

"I attempt to hold him. He attempts to kick you. You say some bad words. The needle goes flying," I say. That's what happened last year.

He held onto the needle this year.

Then, he opted to give the shot in the shoulder muscle. Within 15 minutes the llama is lying flat in the straw.

The vet trims his hooves and vaccinates and deworms him.

I pay the bill.

"Better get started on the shearing," he says as he leaves.

I turn up the tunes. M.C. Hammer sings, "Can't touch this."

I clip and clip and clip.

I am sweating. Llambert is snoring. The horses are looking over the stall door, snickering. They say I'm a better horse trimmer.

I am a quarter way done.

The tools of the trade are basic: a pair of leather gloves and a set of hand shears.

I fall into a rhythm. Grab clump of hair, clip, discard hair.

I am halfway done.

I now must flip Llambert over and work on the other side.

If the husband were home, he'd take the front legs and neck, and I'd take the back legs.

He is not home.

The llama weighs 340 pounds. I weigh considerably less.

I don't get a complete 180-degree rotation.

It is good enough.

He is still sedated, but showing signs of waking.

I am sweating. My hands are tired. My muck bucket is full of llama hair.

Llambert is stirring.

It is better than some years.

He doesn't look like a kindergartener attacked him with school scissors.

My artistic llama talents have now reached first grade.

No comments:

Post a Comment