Hi again, it's me Biscotti! Growing up as a young alpaca has many challenges, especially when you are in a herd of 22 Crias. It's important to be friends with everyone, even those that are not the friendliest. Sure it's easy to be friends with Nico, because we are like brothers, but some of the other boys and girls were mean and didn't like to share as much. I tried to be friends with everyone and we all did get along.
There was also a lot of pressure among the boys to show you are "herdsire" material. Some of the older boys pushed Nico and I around a little bit, but we always had each other's back. That's what true friends do! As we all grew older we started playing games like chase the girls. We were all trying to showoff how fast we were to impress them. Sometimes we would get in trouble because we played a little too rough. The people would yell at us and tell us to stop. We weren't trying to be mean to the girls, we were just being boys! Before long we couldn't play that game anymore, because the people took all the girls and their moms and moved them to a different pasture. Soon we were an all boy herd and wrestling became our favorite game. We all worked on our skills, use your neck for leverage, bite the ankle, push and tackle etc. It was easy with some of the boys, but I wasn't as big as the older boys. They were tough to take down, but it was still fun!
I was almost 8 months old when the scariest time of my life took place. As you know I have the sweetest mom in the world, Candi. One day mom got real sick and stopped eating. The people took her and I into a special pen in the barn. For a couple of days, we stayed there and mom told me she wasn't feeling well. She still let me have my milk, but she was getting weak and losing weight. I kept telling mom that she needed to eat, but she said she couldn't. The people came and all looked very sad. I could see tears in their eyes, so I knew something was wrong. The next day mom and I and one of her friends were loaded on the trailer and we went for a long drive. We arrived at the University of Florida Animal hospital. There were a lot of strange people there and all kinds of other animals. For the next 4 days, this was our home. The people were very nice and gave me a lot to eat. They did a lot of things to mom, poking her with needles and doing all kinds of things. At night when it was quiet I talked to mom,, snuggled next to her and begged her to eat. I said a lot of prayers too, hoping she would get better. I wanted to go home with mom and see Nico and the herd! Would they remember me? Would they let me back in the herd? More important, would mom be OK? On day 4, all my prayers were answered. Mom started eating and told me she was feeling better. The nice people at the hospital were smiling and gave me some treats and pet me. Normally I don't let strangers pet me, but since they had taken such good care of mom, I let them! Soon we were back on the trailer heading home. Mom was smiling and back to her old self. When we got back to the ranch, guess who was there to greet us? Yup, Nico and my whole herd! They had missed me as much and I had missed them. Mom told me to go ahead and play and boy did I! I had been so scared and lonely for those 4 days, it was time to run and pronk! I think I pronked so high, I could touch the moon! I learned a lot of lessons on this journey, but the best one is the importance of family and friends. I hope my next journey is not as scary as this one! Later Gator! - B