My brother was warming up his car yesterday when he heard the alpaca alarm call. It’s a loud, high-pitched chirp that we’ve become as tuned to as the alpacas themselves. He investigated and found the girl alpacas lined up in their defensive formation, facing the terrifyingly aggressive advances of a small rabbit. They handle all such invasions in the same way, as a wedge of impressive alpaca might. Brittany takes the point position, with Mikayla and Tulip slightly behind and on either side of her. The babies are in the back and center, protected from deer, voles, tax accessors and other aggressive animals.
As my brother watched, Brittany began to drive the bunny out of the alpaca paddock and back into the field. She stepped forward aggressively, dodging left and right to cut off the marauding rodent before it could make a feint around her, like a sheep dog herding sheep or a cutting horse heading off a calf. Step by step, each foot of ground an agonizing victory, Brittany forced the bunny back, and finally succeeded in banishing the trespasser from the paddock. Peace was restored to the herd.
The alpacas have won one bunny battle, but have they won the war? Only time will tell.