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Whiskers went willingly into our van, and we drove back to Safley’s. Ken was out, and Marge let us take our time. We looked at the small female’s parents and the two grandparents that were there. Kelly was ready to buy her, but I still needed to think more.

I sat for a while by myself in the pen with the little one and the young weanlings. They were restless and humming, perhaps because they had recently been removed from their mothers. She was quiet, watching me in a relaxed way. We made eye contact for several long, hypnotic seconds, and I felt that I was seeing her soul in her dark eyes. I liked her.

I roamed around, trying to find what my reluctance was. Was my intuition trying to tell me something? The footbridge across the creek beckoned, and I sat there, dangling my legs over the side. Aha! Spending that much money was bothering me: even though we had planned to do it, parting with thousands of dollars was not easy.

Once I realized it, I laughed. A little anxiety wasn’t going to stop me from buying this llama. I imagined how it would be to have her in our herd, and it felt lovely. As I stretched and looked up, a young llama was romping across the meadow, nice symbol of fecundity and increase.

“Well, I’m finally ready,” I murmured to myself, and went to find Kelly.

Loading the struggling young one in the van was a job, but soon we had both llamas settled. We tied Whiskers up, just in case he decided to try breeding the new one.

Whiskers had been humming interrogatively, but once we loaded the female, he was quiet. On the front seat, Cider was shaking with curiosity.

The new female stood up for more of the trip than Whiskers did. The only rough part of the drive was going through Eugene during rush hour, having to zig and zag through unfamiliar streets on our way to the freeway. The llamas tended to bump as we turned right or left.

We stopped for dinner after dark. As we sat eating hamburgers in a crowded fast food place, I watched the outlines of the llamas as they moved around in the van. Whiskers bumped the back light switch on, so it was easy to see the two new members of our family.

We arrived home late at night, in a drizzle. By flashlight we unloaded the little one in with Posey. Posey came racing over making loud clicking and snorting noises. Levi and Tumbleweed always responded to Posey’s clicking with their low-rider posture, but this young female lifted her tail and stood up straight. She and Posey sniffed each other.

“Posey, meet Lil Bit,” I said.

I led the new one into the shed, and took her lead off. She noticed the hay. Then I leaned against the juniper tree and watched while the two females got acquainted. Posey followed the newcomer around, sometimes clicking. Lil Bit didn’t make any sounds.

Kelly led Whiskers into the males’ field. Smelling noses and rears was the main activity over there too. It was all very amicable. We hadn’t really known what to expect.

The rain increased, and we went inside.

The first llama I saw in the morning was Whiskers, looking in our bedroom window. Tumbleweed and Levi soon wandered out from the barn, large Levi lurking in a submissive pose behind Tumbleweed. Whiskers strolled the perimeter of the field, gazing at the females. He looked right at home.

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