County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Gotta Love Those Alpacas!

Community Meets the Magical Little Master Mason

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HARRISON – Mother Nature cleared away early morning clouds to reveal a blue-skied spectacular fall day Saturday, Sept. 25 as Living the Good Life Alpaca Acres celebrated National Alpaca Farm Days. Owners Sam and Wendy Keith had decided to do no more public events due to the increasing physical difficulty for them along with shortage of volunteers to assist them. Fortunately, that was unacceptable to enough people willing to volunteer, and the event was reinstituted – at least for this year.

Vendors were fewer this time around, but carloads of visitors returned to enjoy the alpacas’ special charm. One of the most charming among them was the only cria born on the farm this year: Mabel’s little curly-fleeced golden boy Mason. There were a lot of pregnancies/crias expected this year, but only one arrived. Proprietor Sam Keith was informed by the veterinarian that such is often the case when “maidens” are the intended mothers, which left the Keiths rather disappointed.

So, the head count at LTGLAA is now 41, plus guard llama Mago (referred to by Sam Keith as the Gentle Giant). Additionally, there are kittens, chickens and ducks to round out the farm’s menagerie.

Apparently, irresponsible people are still dropping off unwanted pets near rural residences, and one kitten recently arrived, making its way across the pasture to the barn. That little one relished the care and sustenance received, but the Keiths are still looking for someone to provide it and other “inherited” kittens a good home. To that end, there was a huge sign at the barn door that read “Free Kittens.”

Sam Keith also reported that some of the young male alpacas are experiencing their “teenage guys” growing pains, challenging each other and playing a little too rough. That was evidenced by a limping Raydan who cried out softly with each step – he had suffered soft tissue damage after being “body slammed” inside the barn by Alex (prized gray-fleeced son of gray-fleeced Anna). Keith said Alex has two strikes against him and that if he gets a third one, he will be moved into the pasture with the older males where he most certainly will receive an attitude adjustment. (Makes one wonder if all “parents” count to three.)

Onsite were vendors offering a variety of crafts, décor items, handmade food specialties, and savory food truck items. Visitors also enjoyed shopping for yarns, knitted and crocheted items, and a multitude of other things alpaca in the farm store.

An extra special treat this year was a visit from the Red Hat Strutters, who scooted their boots and hand movements to a variety of music, all to the delight of spectators. One young girl stepped right up and began watching and following their steps, knowing that she, too, could be part of something special.

In all, the day was a fine farewell to summer and welcome to fall – and a joyful welcome to little Mason. With so much attention focused on just one little guy, it promises to be a very big year for him!

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