This morning, Dad had a surprise waiting for him when he headed out to the barn for the morning feeding. He opened the garage door, stepped into the weak morning light, and took a moment to survey his domain. In front of him, the low sun cast long shadows across the riding arena, just beginning to warm the south side of the barn beyond. He inhaled, tasting the rich scents of the farm on the fresh south breeze, as his gaze swept north, to where a herd of alpacas stood in a tight cluster, absolutely and completely free in an unfenced field. He blinked. They blinked back.
Calmly, Dad went inside and told Mom that the alpacas were out. Then he went back outside and clambered over the arena fence (twice), so that he wouldn’t inadvertently herd them in the wrong direction. Mikayla stood at the front of the group, head held high, watching him approach. The others were arranged in wedge behind her, looking from her to Dad, clearly very, very aware that they were breaking the rules.
“Alright then, get back in your house,” he said, spreading his arms wide and walking towards them. For a moment, they were completely still. Then they turned and calmly filed back into their paddock through the still open north gate. Mikayla entered last, one can almost imagine her disdainful sniff as she did, “Well, I didn’t want to be out anyway. Just wanted you to know that we could do it.”
We have no idea how they got the gate open, but we’re guessing it hadn’t been open long. No one uses that gate, so it might have been poorly latched for weeks. Well, no harm no foul, I guess. I like to think it keeps the parents young 🙂