Monday, October 02, 2006

Bring your mama, buy a llama

Wow. My life has just been shaken to the core. Read below:
Dead Llama Mystifies Oakland Officials

A dead llama found in the streets has left city officials wondering how the South American animal ended up abandoned in an urban area.

At first, East Oakland residents assumed the 400-pound animal with black and white spots was a horse and called the city's animal control department to report the find.

"At first it looked like a horse — all we saw was a head sticking out from a tarp," said Andrew Gordon, with Oakland's Animal Control Field Services. "But I looked at it closely, and I said, 'Look at the ears — that's a llama.' "

The llama's legs were tied up and it was covered with a tarp, but it appears to have died of old age, Gordon said.

Residents of the Oakland hills sometimes keep llamas, who are members of the camel family, as pets.

"I can't think of any reason someone would just dump it," he said. "People who have animals that good usually have money."

But Gordon said he probably wouldn't spend much time solving the mystery of the llama.

The animal doesn't seem to have suffered abuse, and since it wasn't branded he does not know where to start looking for the owners.

What they do not understand is the significance of finding a dead Llama in an urban area. Llamas are tremendously amazing creatures, inspiring great passion in many around the world. Why would this llama have died of old age in the middle of Oakland? I can see why someone might want to get out of Oakland as quickly as possible, but to die under a tarp? I think there is trouble afoot.

Here is another story about someone in Maine having their pet Llama named Ginger murdered. Well, a follow-up article reveals more startling news:

The llama plot thickens

Remember the slain pet llama in North Anson? Sure you do.

In the latest development in the case, the principal of School Administrative District 74 has been disciplined for showing students photos of the dead llama. Mary F. Adley convened an assembly and showed the photos to students on an overhead projector in an apparent attempt to get students to tell authorities whether they knew anything about the case. School authorities had been told that a Carrabec Community School student was under investigation for the crime and the photos were left with them — but not to share.

William "Fig" Newton, animal-control officer in Anson, said two juveniles were seen leaving the scene of the crime.

[SAD 74 Superintendent Regina P.] Campbell confirmed there was a tip from Newton that a seventh-grader was among Carrabec Community School students under investigation.

(Aside: William "Fig" Newton! As if this story could GET any better.)

Parents are upset by the incident and Newton says that the investigation has been compromised because of it. Parent Kimberly Collins of Anson in particular didn't find the presentation appropriate. "She showed photos on an overhead projector of an animal with its throat slit and its side gushing out," she said.

So kids are showing pictures of dead Llamas in school? I have heard about kids sharing bad pictures with each other, but this is not what I had in mind. I tried to find a follow-up on this article, but was unable. My suspicion is that the juvenile delinquents that perpetrated this crime have since moved to Oakland. If only William "Fig" Newton were on the case in Oakland!

What's so upsetting about all of this is the fact that llamas are the gentlest of God's creatures. How many times have you heard of a llama getting drunk or stealing a car? Never. Have you ever heard news about people getting killed by falling llamas? Of course not. I really believe that llamas are our best defense against the cow-dog-monkey conspiracy I have written about in previous articles.

Here are some facts I have learned about llamas:

1. Llamas have been used as guard animals. This sounds great, but the following article highlights the folly of this practice:
Some people are heavily promoting the use of llamas as guards for sheep and goats. They are ONLY talking about protection from single coyotes, not packs, coy-dogs, domestic dogs, wild pigs, bears, cougars, wolverines and wolves. Many of us feel using a llama as a guard is like offering predators an appetizer before the main course. I do not sell llamas as guards. I think the best protection you can get is a pair of guardian dogs to protect your herds of sheep, goats or llamas. And even guardian dogs have been killed by couger and bear. Good fencing is a must too, but even good fencing won't do the whole job. We all do the best we can, but sometimes it isn't enough. Following are a few stories of those who KNOW how vulnerable llamas are to attack by predators. And the most dangerous of all may be your neighbor's dog.
The article goes on to document the cruel murder of llamas by packs of dogs. Yes, dogs. Yet another bit of evidence as to the resistance to the conspiracy these gentle animals are offering.

2. Llamas like to sunbathe. This was news to me, and made me wonder how many times these sunbathing beauties are mistaken for dead llamas.

3. Llamas have been taught to square dance. A fascinating website describes one man's trek to find the famed dancing llamas (which are in Indiana, by the way).

The whole thing began in May, 1994. I was driving home from work while listening to the end of All Things Considered on National Public Radio. The last story they did that day was about a woman named Bea Kesling who runs a llama farm with her husband in Kokomo, Indiana. They raise llamas to sell as pets and farm animals, which was interesting but hardly newsworthy. But then the radio reporter uttered the words that changed my life: "She taught the llamas how to square-dance."

Yes, that's right -- square-dancing llamas. Square-dancing llamas? As described on the radio, people and llamas dance together as partners, and the llamas apparently love it. (Well, why shouldn't they?) The NPR report was publicizing an annual llama square-dance scheduled for Mother's Day. Why Mo
ther's Day? Well, they had a nifty slogan for the event: "Bring your mama, buy a llama."

As I listened to this, I was laughing so hard I almost drove my car off the road. Without a doubt, this was the funniest, most wonderfully ludicrous thing I'd ever heard of. In my mind I pictured big animals doing fancy dance moves, furry John Travoltas kicking up their heels to country-western mus
ic. Yes, people were dying in Bosnia and the whole Earth was rotting away, but how can you possibly lose faith in the kind of world where, at any moment, a llama might be prancing around somewhere in Indiana, for no apparent reason?
The website goes on to describe his treck to Indiana and his sudden fascination with these furry friends, culminating in the grand llama square dance. It made me weep.

4. There is an incredibly powerful and influential llama called The Great llama, who has appeared in many films and has influenced many of the most powerful people in the world.

5. Another fine llama known as the Naked Dancing Llama gives sage advice about the art of frolicking and how it can help us in our day-to-day dreary existence. From the website:

NDL's core words of wisdom, as taught to him by the Supreme Llama, who rules the universe, spitting peanuts and playing the accordion..

The Grand Master Llama speaks out on:


"To frolic, as a llama would, is to live."

"You don't learn to frolic, you release the frolic within."

"They may say you cannot frolic. They may scorn you for frolicking in public places. I say, frolic by example, and others will follow suit."

"Life is short. Frolic hard."

"Don't frolic in the wet spots."

"We all frolic in the end."

Wow. Another tear hits my keyboard.

6. There is a delightful song about llamas called The llama song. It is not to be confused with the song by Monty Python (see below). I will be humming it for the rest of the week.
The llama is a quadruped which lives in big rivers like the Amazon. It has two ears, a heart, a forehead, and a beak for eating honey. But it is provided with fins for swimming. Llamas are larger than frogs. Llamas are dangerous, so if you see one where people are swimming, you shout: "Look out, there are llamas!"
7. You can view the world from a llamas perspective by watching life through the llamacam.

Well, that's the wrap on llamas. If you want to learn more about them, there is a very nice llama named Domino, who can answer any other questions you have. So join me in the rage about this finding of the dead llama in Oakland. Would they just close the case if they found the Pope dead on the street? Join me in the groundswell of support for our only hope against the evil plans of the dogs, cows, and monkeys.