Mom was treated to a most unusual act from Tuscany the other day. It seems the great white ninny is practicing his tricks.
We feed the ‘pacas “crumbles”, a pellet food, mostly so that we know they are getting all the right nutrients. To keep them from eating too fast and choking (see here for a harrowing choking story), Dad created a long, narrow feed trough from a rain gutter.
The gutter is full of round river rocks, and the alpacas have to nudge the rocks out of the way to get to the food. Except for Merlin, of course. The first time we put the crumbles in the gutter he just stared at Dad like “You are kidding, right?”
There are caps on the ends of the gutter to keep everything in the trough, but they are removable so Mom can wipe out dust. Every morning, without fail, those end caps are on the ground. And now we know why.
Mom was cleaning the horse paddock and keeping an eye on the boys as she worked. Tuscany was playing with something on the ground, moving it around with his nose, picking it up and dropping it in the dust again. It was one of the white plastic end caps for the rain gutter. Then, as Mom watched astounded, Tuscany picked it up with his mouth, extended his neck, and balanced it on his nose like circus seal.
He stood there like that for a moment, face pointed towards the sky with the plastic end cap wobbling on his nose, then he dropped it, gave Mom a “I know you were watching me” look and went back to eating.