Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I was hiking over the top of the ridge of an evening high above Snail Hollow, and came face to face with this weird animal, bizarre long necked and small headed, tall pointy ears, about as big as a hefty dog but with long slight legs and silky brown fur. We both kinda said "YIKES!" in our own language, and backed off a few startled steps. I hung around for a while, watching him, but he didn't like the looks of me at all, I guess -- wouldn't let me come closer than about ten feet.

He was obviously lost. Wearing a manufactured halter of nylon webbing, but no other distinguishing features. Thought I oughta try taking him outta there, because I figured the coyotes tend to claim such undefended critters pretty quick. I tried entreating with apples, hanks of grass, luring with soft banter and baby talk, sitting down, standing up, sneaking up, quick rushes, head fakes, and everything I could think of, but wily critter managed to keep out of grabbing distance. I sat there for a while in the dark, just keeping company, then gave up and went home.

I went back up next morning with my friend Michael Golden, and he just kind of scooped the animal up in his arms. We carried him off the mountain and put him in my mom's garden.

Mom promptly fell in love with the animal, and decided the animal is named "Dolly". (He turns out to be "she".)   Dolly loves mom's strawberry plants.

Anyway, here it is. What do you do with an alpaca?

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