Texotic Farms vs. Harvey the Hurricane
VRA is based in the Gulf Coast Hurricane Bowl….Houston, TX. It is also located in the middle of a llama farm. Llamas that come from Peru in the Andes Mountains do not appreciate
the incumbent hurricane season at sea level in Houston. Give them cold weather and snow and they are happy. This season, instead of just a hurricane with 150 mph winds and 15 inches of rain, we dealt with 52 inches of rain in three days, leading to a massive flood. Harvey arrived in full force and the corrals filled with water, topping the four-foot wooden fences and the bellies of the llama herd. Rudy, the infamous husband, refused to go out and move them to higher ground and they refused to leave their stalls.
With boots and rain gear, I struggled into the waist deep muddy water with ropes. “You can’t move those 400-lb animals unless they are ready to swim out,” he yelled as he stood on the house porch. “Does it look like they are going to swim?” I replied in a huff as I trudged through the current. The llamas were in a tight circle with a wall of rain and wind engulfing them in their shelters.
Leo, the golden farm stud, was bewildered at why I had joined them in their wet conclave. He was not the only one bewildered. I had to be crazy to attempt to rope the alpha llama and herd two miniature horses to move the herd to higher ground. With the rope around Leo’s thick neck, he agreed to take a few muddy steps and slowly the rest started to follow. All but “Crooked Nose”, and he wasn’t going to move one inch from his stall. He was always as dumb as an armadillo and about as ugly as his name implies.
As I made it to the high ground near the house, it was clear the flooding was going to get a lot worse. “Rudy, you need to move the truck out of the garage so I can move the llamas in.” Relaxing in his favorite chair he continued to watch the action from the back porch. “I’m not moving my truck for those damn llamas.” “Fine,” I replied, “I bringing them into the garage anyway.”
Saying what you are going to do and then actually convincing a group of head strong llamas of your intentions is like dealing with a head strong spouse. There was no way they were going into an area where something as large as a big black truck was parked. Clearly, they did not know how determined I was to get them in there. With Rudy pulling on Leo’s rope and me pushing his rump, while being kicked, we finally got him into the enclosure, but the fun wasn’t over. (Note: Llamas front feet kick like a cow and their back like a horse.)
Noodle, the miniature “blind” pony, became confused and could not find her way to the house and was panicking as water was up to her neck. Back I went into the storm to retrieve her. In the meantime, the rest of the herd decided to go into the garage nearly trampling the husband. Noodle’s stall mate, a miniature stallion named Cheyanne, had been her companion for many years. He was smart enough to leave the corral as soon as the gate was opened. He did not realize he had left her behind. When he heard her braying for help, and me struggling to get to her, he ran back into the water and swam her out. As for “Crooked Nose”, he elected to literally drown in his stall.
With the water within 2 inches of the house’s foundation, and approaching the garage, I went to bed dreading what I’d find come daylight. At 4 a.m., I woke and rushed straight to the garage prepared to bring the animal kingdom into the house. The water had suddenly receded six feet. There was my precious herd, totally content feasting on fresh hay. Alas, there was horse dung and llama droppings on the floor and the truck. The odor smelled like “Corral #5”, but the gang was just fine. The same could not be said for Rudy’s truck...
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