Just when a calm sets in, a pastoral scene of sheep serenity and blue skies, the heart receives another blow. Our sweet guardian llama, Lily, died Wednesday evening. Even knowing that she was declining, even expecting her not to last much longer with her tortured, arthritic falter, the grief is vivid.
From her arrival at the farm, she knew her job and was a diligent guardian. She would sound that strange llama alarm whenever anything was amiss. Even when our neighbors were babysitting benign, miniature donkeys, she sounded that alarm. Anything to keep her sheep charges safe.
The sheep were comfortable with her right away, too. I wish I had a picture of her reaching her long neck down and sniffing each new lamb, greeting and accepting them as part of her flock. The lambs would even climb on her back to nap.
Lily would hang out in the sheep shed when it was too windy or rainy or snowy, often having "sleepovers" with the sheep.
Yet she certainly didn't mind the snow.
She was never friendly with us, never seemed to get over an early fear of humans, from long before we had her. Yet we couldn't help having a deep affection for her. She was steadfast, ornery, magnificent and sweet. We will miss you, Lily.