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We tried again to put the little guy under Posey. She thrashed around with displeasure at being handled, making it impossible for the baby to get to her. So we walked her up to our llama chute, where she couldn’t mill around so much.

Once there, Posey did stop thrashing around. She sat down. When Kelly reached for her teats, she jumped up rapidly. While I held the flashlight, Kelly got some colostrum out of her and into the baby, using the bottle. It didn’t seem like much.

We set the alarm for two in the morning, and Kelly checked the llamas. The little guy looked fine, sitting by Posey. When the alarm rang again at six, I went out, exhausted from a night of restless sleep. The baby and Posey were sitting. The baby got up, his little mouth began working, and he tried to nurse from Posey’s shoulder. Then he tried the barn. Posey got up, and he tried to nurse from her tail. He walked past her teats as if they weren’t there. I milked Posey just a little, so the smell of milk would be strongest around her udder. The baby kept trying to nurse the barn.

Kelly went out early for his daily run, as it looked like it was going to be a hot day. Then he settled down to read in the barn. I took a group of ten lively retired women on a morning llama hike, glad to get away from the uncertainty in the barn. I enjoyed the distraction, and the women were a particularly interesting group. But part of my mind was worrying nonstop.

“Nothing’s happened yet,” Kelly reported at noon.

“Did you try anything?”

“No, I thought they’d do best on their own.” He had been staying in the part of the barn where we stored hay.

Now I didn’t mind that the little llama was a male. His life was so precious to me already, after less than twenty-four hours of being acquainted with him. My caring about him was just for the sweetness of his little self. I was glad that money didn’t enter into it, as it probably would have with a female.

“I really think we ought to do something,” I insisted. “Shall we have another try at milking Posey and feeding the baby?”

“I don’t want to have a bottle-fed baby if we can avoid it,” he said.

“I don’t want to have a dead baby if we can avoid it,” I countered.

This time Posey was very good about being milked out, and the baby sucked eagerly on the bottle. We got about ten ounces into him during the long, hot afternoon. I thought he was less lively than the day before, but Kelly thought he was fine.

“It figures,” I snapped at him. “You always think everything’s fine.”

“That’s better than worrying about everything,” he snarled back.

Our veterinarian advised that we do nothing for a while, on the theory that if Posey was full of milk and the baby was hungry, they would be more likely to find each other. Kelly thought this was a good plan. I didn’t. I wanted to intervene, but I did agree that it would be good if we could avoid having a bottle-fed baby.

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