Sunday, April 10, 2005

I had Forgotten that Llamas Spit

I had forgotten that llamas spit. Unfortunately, I remembered it just a little too late - seconds after Forest, the resident llama at the Hutchinson Zoo, showered Greg and his little friend Ace Jackalope. Appropriately enough, it was a bit of a rainy day, so Greg had dressed Ace in his little yellow rain gear.

Greg and Mark are completely unsuspecting in this photo, which was taken just moments before the "incident." I had just said to Mark, "Go over there next to Greg so I can get a picture of you both with Forest." Well, moments later, Mark was across the rather large pen, Ace was on the ground, and Greg was wondering what hit him. Fortunately, I helped with that as the next thing out of my mouth was, "Oh, I'd forgotten that llamas spit."

Little did we know how badly Ace would need his raincoat. And, in my defense for not offering a warning, it's not like the fact that llamas spit is something you need to keep uppermost in your mind in daily life. And it is not what the zoo warns about either.

Oh, and did I mention that Forest is part of the petting zoo? You know, for small children? That's where this very welcoming sign is - right beside Forest's quarters.

We're not really sure what other animals are in the petting zoo - they were all snoozing on this rainy day, or just busy hiding from people who want to take their pictures with Jackalopes.

Before "the incident" we were just enjoying the day. The rain had stopped and the zoo has had a major facelift in the last couple of years. So, we were just wandering around looking at the critters and doing what there is to do.

Greg was feeding the swans and ducks and geese. We looked at the ferret, the bald eagle, the bobcats, tortoise and iguana. The zoo has dramatically improved in the last few years. It's one of those things where we've done something good with tax dollars.

The zoo was suggested by Greg, I think. But Mark jumped right on it because he hadn't been there in years. I was open to whatever. We'd had a late breakfast at Skaets and decided to venture down to Carey Park, where the zoo is. Little did we know what an eventful day it would turn out to be.

You might think that people wouldn't have much need to know about llamas - it's not like they're animals you bump into every day. But, here, we have more than our fair share of llama contact - although never as much as we've had today.

Hutchinson hosts the State Fair and they give away a llama every year. Greg always registers. I wonder if he will this year. Also, we have Hedricks Animal farm in nearby Nickerson and they have llamas. They bring them to the state fair every year for a petting zoo, along with other critters.

Well, I think that's enough of a wrap up about my day. It has had a lot of laughter in it this afternoon. And I have to say for Greg that he is very easy going about such things. He saw the humor in it, too. Although he did mention that maybe a dear friend - like me - might have offered a warning. Honest to goodness, I didn't remember that llamas spit until after the fact. But I bet none of us forget anytime soon.

So, in case you should have reason to be near a llama -maybe you'd like to come visit Forest - let me remind you - llamas spit.

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