Annual alpaca shearing is in April.
By summer’s 90-plus days
the alpacas are hot. We know
because Mr. Darcy stands with his front legs
in the drinking water bucket; that’s the time
to begin mid-day showers. Mr. Darcy is first
to stand over the spray when we turn it on;
he likes the cold water on his belly.
He stands there a very long time.
William will sidle up to Darcy,
but Darcy won’t step aside.
So that’s the point at which we take control of the hose
and share the showers.
While Darcy prefers the cold spray
on his belly,
William prefers it on his tail end, sometimes
sitting on it. Biak, who never approaches Darcy to share,
saunters over now.
Biak likes the cold water on his chest
and then likes us to hold the spray
so he can dip his nose in it.
We wet down their backs, bellies,
trying to give equal time—especially
to Darcy’s belly,
William’s tail
and Biak’s chest and nose.
Ah…
the splashy days of summer!

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