• Rev. Virginia O. (Ginger) Bassford, PhD


Have I told you about our llamas? They are AWESOME!

Everybody thinks llamas are so cute and cuddly - ha! Foxes and rodents don't think that! Neither do coyotes! I suspect even the big bad wolf is afraid of a llama! If he isn't, he should be. Why? Because llamas don't over-react. Their number one defense is not getting rattled. They know their job, and they do it with precision!

Llamas are supremely alert. They can hear the sheets wrinkle on the bed. They can see half way around the earth. When they see danger half a mile away they stare at it! Never flinching. Never blinking. STARE.

Our first llama was 6'4". Shakira was offended at the huge beef master bull across the road. We saw her stand off one evening. She was on our side of the fence. He was on our neighbor's side of the fence. They stared straight through the pickups that drove down our caliche road. They stared at each other until it was dark. We got up the next morning and there Shakira was - staring at that damn bull! She stood there ALL day! No food. No water. Staring. That bull finally put his tail between his legs and went home. Shakira kept guard for another hour or so to make sure he didn't come back. HUAAH!

Llamas hum... they hum. Yup. You read that right. They hum in the face of danger. They have their own little melody. Reminds me of Peter Paul & Mary, "I'll [hum] out danger! I'll [hum] out warning! I'll [hum] out the love between my brothers and my sisters... a...all over this land...." I'm telling you, llamas are awesome.

If they think that they've heard enough bull they stomp as a warning. One is advised to heed that warning. Mules have nothin' on a llama's kick-xxx! I was sheering Shakira once. She didn't like it. She hummed at me. She stomped. Then that old girl reached up with her cloven toes on her hind leg and she kicked those clippers right out of my hand! I thought I was just lucky. I picked them up again and started in... WHACK! She missed me by a hair and kicked them out of my hand again. Damn! She was accurate and packed one whale of a PUNCH.

But the real defense of a llama is their spit. They spit bile. Pure-d-ole bile, straight from the gullet. Slime that won't wash off. Green. Smell. Nasty. No wonder coyotes stay away just at the scent of a llama.

There is a lot of bull going around the United Methodist Church these days. The coyotes... their circling up and gathering in their pack... howling... and working hard to be cunning. It is no time to be shy. No time to be hiding behind your mama's skirt. Be alert. Pay attention. Stand your ground. Be a llama!

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