Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Honoring a Proud Protector - "LFF JUNO"

Purple Haze is the name of this offering.. The fiber comes from a Proud, Protective Alpaca Male named "Lff Juno". Juno came to this farm on his way to being put down. His life before the funny farm was full of abuse and fear. The day he arrived was anything but what I had hoped for - he bit, kicked and drug my son Nick around the farm before smashing him into a set of heavy metal gates. Everyone thought I was nuts to pay money for this brutal bully but I knew we had to give it a try. He would charge and you every time you entered the pen. He would bite you if you got too close, and believe you me his kicks could break bones if he caught you just right. With slow steps we worked with him to gain his trust - tiny baby steps for two years before he found his place here at the farm - Guardian of the lamb's. Now this guy had a soft spot for those tiny creatures that needed him. He would allow them to climb on his back, jump on his head and most of all sleep cuddled up to him at night. This terror on four legs give his all to the care and protection of his flock.

Over time he allowed some simple tasks like cutting toenail, clipping off his fleece and such but always we were aware that his fear of humans where still within his cell memory. This showed one day when a ewe was in trouble while giving birth. I did not think about Juno being in the pen as I jumped the gate and ran to her aid. As I tried to get a hold of those tiny feet peeking out of the birth canal I did not see Juno running up behind me. With all his force he plowed me into the side of the metal barn and down I went and hit the side of my face on the large metal bar that held the barn in place. When I woke up there beside me was the ewe with her new baby lamb and Juno. He looked at me as if to say "I am so sorry Mom".. I never was mad at him - I was at fault. I moved to fast, did not watch where he was and so I paid the price - cracked teeth, black and blue face and my jaw in horrible pain but at least the lamb and ewe where all O.K.

Years of faithful service this proud male gave and in the end he gave his life for those in his charge. Juno passed away a couple of years later of a heart attack while running the pasture fence line keeping a Mountain Lion at bay. Even when my son's and I stayed out with him to guard the flock Juno just would not slow down. In the wee hours of the morning it was just all too much for this warrior. Now before we all get too sad just remember this proud male would have been gone many years earlier without ever finding his calling in life. I give thanks for all the hurtful bites, black and blue marks, cracked teeth, jaw injury and tender moments I had with this haunted soul - my life will never be the same because of him. He taught me that no matter what unkindness is shown to an animal they do have the power to give love and give back.

So I hope you might honor this Proud Male Protector by purchasing his fiber and telling his story of overcoming abuse and becoming a great comfort and service to others.

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