Alpaca Baby: Joy & Grief

Rain in the Grass

Hope and sorrow intermingle. Strange to see a new life so spritely and full of verve and know that it is teetering on the edge of that abyss. The baby alpaca is finally strong enough to run around the paddocks in it's blue coat. Looking like an excited little kid. It's hard to describe how cute this actually is.

But early this afternoon I found it trying to poop with it's head laying on the ground. It was trying for so long that it exhausted itself and looked dead. Back into the house it went for herbal enemas and teas. I have saved many a bunny or sheep from such a situation, but sometimes with cria, there is nothing to be done because the bowel is twisted or the bladder distended. No way of knowing if the cria will heal or pass away.

And so I watch it in the light rain, euphoric to be reunited with its mama, the grass, the wind. After running to all corners of all three paddocks it seeks its shelter and strains to poop again. I squatted down to watch, hoping to see success. Mama came over and put her mouth very close to the back of my head and gently spit on me. The message was clear.

She cries the entire time I walk with her baby. Then she stares in my kitchen window watching me, wondering where the baby is. It is getting more and more difficult to take care of the cria without getting kicked. She is a good mama. But she might lose this one all the same. It's all a little too close to home, especially sick and sleep deprived.

Farming exercises your heart as much as any other muscle. Pulsing with joy and grief, life and death.

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