Sampson, if he were to talk would sound much like Sean Connery in the 007 movies.  And while James Bond may have had a small arsenal at his disposal to subdue the bad guy, Sampson has two.  His feet, and his guts.  Literally.  Camelids (camels, llamas, alpacas and their kin) all spit.   And this is not the frothy stuff that most kids spray about.  This is so much worse.

But first his feet.  We were given him as a ‘free come along’ when we bought two goats from a good friend several years ago.  Although the Yotes had not gotten any of our hens, they hung about a bit, typically I would see a coyote or two a week just out doing morning and evening chores.  Then Sam came to live with us.  Llama’s hate dogs.  With the kind of burning blood lust that makes me nervous.  He won’t go through a fence for one, but I think deep down he would love for some idiot dog or coyote to end up in his paddock.  To a llama, a dog is just a big soccer ball, and get’s treated as such.  They have two ‘toes’ on their feet, and can (supposedly) eviscerate a canine if provoked.  We have never felt the need to test this out on any of our dogs, and they are kept well away from Sam…  The other up side to his moving in?  I have not seen a cyote on our property in 4.5 years.  We hear them (all the time) but the weekly sightings, are a distant memory…

So what about the spit?  Well for Sam, he reserves his spit for a truly unruly goat.  Or the Vet (yea don’t wear a white lab coat, or carry a syringe).  Or me if he thinks I am out of line in handling a goat, or him.  And if you would rather not experience it first hand, imagine this….  wet, sodden, sweet-rotten grass clippings, mixed with 1/10th smoker’s breath, set on frappe in the blender and then shot out of a 500# spray bottle, with an accuracy that is stunning.  And they aim for the face.  It’s gross.  In fact, it’s so gross that they don’t like to do it, so they warn you.  Rapid ‘glug, glug-ing’ and a ‘dry fire’ once or twice before they actually load a round in the chamber and hit you with it…  Really it is very thoughtful.  Just a few months ago (remember back when morning and evening chores were done in the dark) I was trimming the scurs on our weather (Rusty) in the pen.  I had him pinned to the frozen ground and neither of us was having much fun.  He was a bit more vocal about it, and somewhere behind my head I hear ‘glug, glug, glug….  pffft’.  Nothing quite like having a long neck and head come out of the darkness, with it’s ears back on it’s mouth set on ‘obliterate’.

Other than that he’s a sweet guy.  He loves kids.  If you are under 8 he will let you walk right up and pet him.  He’s careful where he puts his feed (especially if there are baby goats or children around).  He does have an un-nerving habbit of swinging his head into your space, and looking down on you.  I’m 6′ and it’s a little unsettling to have him look down on me…  Here he is with a ‘smile’ on his face.  Farmer Joscelyn took this a few weeks ago…



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