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17: A Dream
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Our sadness lingered, but events were moving very quickly. Little Perry was several weeks old now. She delighted us in the evenings with her antics, as other babies had done in earlier years. There was a pang to our pleasure, though: was this the last baby llama we would live with? It was hard to imagine that we would really be moving.

But we would be. The ranch was sold ten days after we put it on the market. We would be at Juniper Ridge for another couple of months and then we would move into a pleasant house we were buying in Ashland. Linda and Nelson were hurrying to prepare facilities for our llamas at Elk Hill.

The people who were buying Juniper Ridge, Ben and Joan Schramm, had come on one of our first llama hikes. They had loved the clean air and wonderful feeling of the place. When a realtor told them that it was for sale, they had immediately come up to see it. Whenever we sold llamas we were fond of, the joy of the buyers had often eased our sense of loss. Now this was happening with the land itself.

Because my vision had expanded from knowing Penelope, I surmised that our dogs, cats, and llamas did have some sense that change was afoot. I had tried telling the animals about our plans, but had no specific clues as to whether they were getting my messages.

Then one day, walking along a path, I came upon the dead body of little Who, the wild barn cat. She seemed to have died of natural causes. It was a relief, really, as we had puzzled over what to do with her. I guessed that she had known what was coming. Was the same true of Renny?

Some mornings I would go to my computer while still half-asleep and write down particularly vivid dreams. I had been doing this for years, interested in the elaborate plots and stage settings that my subconscious mind came up with night after night.

One Saturday morning that autumn, I wrote this dream in my journal, “Kelly and I are at the ocean. Blossom is out on the beach, lying there with her legs stuck out. There’s a cow too. We both know Blossom is in danger of dying, and Kelly says despairingly, `We’re going to lose her.’ I feel a numbness, a helplessness at the hands of fate, even though it doesn’t seem right. I rally enough to suggest that if the ocean brings her up, we should try to do something with her.

“Just then, a long wave moves her, the cow, and a deer way up on the beach. She stands, and Kelly takes her temperature. He says it’s 101, which is normal for a llama. Kelly goes to call the vet, who isn’t in, while I sit on a park bench and converse with Blossom. I don’t remember the conversation but suddenly I know that she is going to be okay. She and Kelly and I are all glad.”

I told Kelly the dream before I went shopping in the nearby city of Medford for several hours. He stayed home and was packing up boxes in his studio when a woman happened to stop by to see the llamas.

Kelly took her into the ladies’ barn. There they found Posey stretched out on her side, her head on the ground, flies on her eyelids. Kelly touched her foot and she didn’t respond. She was barely breathing and seemed nearly dead.

He excused himself to the visitor and ran up to phone from the house. Our vet was out of town, and his receptionist referred Kelly to another clinic. That vet couldn’t come out and referred Kelly to another one, who was on the other side of the county on a horse call but would call back. Kelly couldn’t reach anyone else.

By the time he got back to the barn, the visitor had left. He feared the worst, but Posey lifted her head up. She wouldn’t get up, though. He rubbed her ears, a TEAM technique, and after a while she sat, then stood, and eventually walked.

When I arrived late in the afternoon, Kelly came right out to the car. His face was pale and I knew from his manner that something had happened. I had time to worry about all our relatives and most of our friends before he told me Posey’s story.

“But that’s like my dream!” I exclaimed.

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