How to potty train an Alpaca
‘I am Vicugna Pacos,’ said the quirky creature staring at me from the other side of the hedge. ‘Not the beast of burden you probably take me for!’
‘I do not take you for anything,’ I replied innocently, taken back a tad by a talking alpaca.
‘Well that’s ok then,’ Vicugna Pacos sniffed and walked towards me. ‘What is it with you humans that you need to stop and take photos of me when I’m obviously not up to it?’
I stretched me neck forward and was about to take a photo, when I stopped. ‘What is wrong with you?’ I asked. ‘Why do you look at me like that?’ The alpaca had eyes as large as jar lids.
‘You are wearing the wool of one of my relatives,’ he said. ‘I am delighted!’ But even his delight didn’t seem to please him, as he hummed and hawed like a human with indigestion.
I laughed as I ran my hand over the silky sweater I was wearing. ‘Well, why on earth are you so sulky and making strange noises?’ I said. ‘Your fur is flame resistant and hypoallergenic, how amazing is that?’ But Vicugna Pacos was not impressed with such information and pouted like a spoilt child and continued to hum and haw. You see, alpacas do this when they are stressed.
‘That is why!’ Vicugna Pacos tossed his pretty head in the direction of another, much younger, alpaca. ‘My cousin! His mother is having a terrible time potty training him!’
‘Ah,’ I nodded my head, ‘I understand!’ You see readers; alpacas share one bathroom, to keep the table clean, so to speak! But it was quite obvious that the new addition to the family was having difficulty understanding this task and indeed, as I stood there talking to his cousin, he opened his bowels right there in front of us.
‘Disgusting child!’ cried Vicugna Pacos and turned his head skywards.
I thought about this for a moment then suddenly, ‘I have it!’ I said to Vicugna Pacos, ‘is the child hungry?’ But without waiting for an answer, I dropped an apple I had in my pocket, into the pile of alpaca dung. ‘There,’ I said to the offending youngster, ‘a delicious apple for your tea!’
Vicugna Pacos watched in amazement as his young cousin sniffed at the apple and tried to retrieve it from the hot smelling mulch. But the apple stuck hard and fast to the setting dung.
Hardly able to contain my laughter, I threw another apple, which I had been saving for mykind and unassuming husband, into the field where the grass was clean and untouched and watched the youngster eagerly retrieve it. Needless to say, his potty training days were over and Vicugna Pacos posed for me without complaint!