Saturday, January 29, 2011
Another foot of snow . No lambs but I trudged to the barn to find my llama dead in the large feeding area. Herc was old and getting frail and thin so the bitter cold winter we have had was bound to take him. Of course the ewes stood right on top of him while I fed and tried to figure out a way to remove his body. Getting an old plastic sled and Tim, we rolled Herc onto the sled and slid him into the barnyard to the awaiting tractor. It seemed like a less than dignified end for a guy that took his guard job seriously and never asked for special attention.
Everyone that drove past the farm looked for him and visitors always wanted to walk Herc on a lead until he got close and his imposing size changed their minds. He walked elegantly for those brave enough to try and spitting was something he seldom did. I loved the way he checked each newborn lamb in at birth until he determined it was part of his flock and could stay. If I forgot to close the storage hole in the barn wall Herc would get his nose in there and pull everything out.. .records, pens, medications etc. I never figured out wether he was bored or just trying to be funny. And he was great at finding "not quite" hooked gates, opening them and taking the whole flock for walks on Potosi Road. Roundup time was done easily with a bucket of grain but I swear I caught Herc smiling.
Last night as I left the hole in the wall open , a tear dripped down my face and quickly froze. Herc's spirit will be in the barn with me as the lambs come, but I'll miss him looking over my shoulder wanting to be first to smell the newborn.