When Llamas Attack


Wooly killing machines

Okay, nobody got hurt, at least not while we were there, but they certainly could have been. Just look at these monsters. They were making funny growly noises the whole time. I thought for sure the two of them were about to rip the kid’s face off or start spitting horrible slime. Never trust a pseudoruminant, I say. They’re ones with three stomachs instead of four. This was at the Wool Festival in Taos, a good place to visit on a wholesome Sunday afternoon, especially if you like wool.

There were a few folksingers in evidence. I heard but did not see a presumably fine fellow with a nice voice sing “The Old Grandfather Clock” over the PA system. Not exactly a folk song, but that was the evidence. There was also lots and lots of wool. Everywhere I turned, women were stroking balls of yarn or sweaters and murmuring appreciatively. (Who knew that was all it takes?) The ratio of women to men was approximately 2,000:1. I could see Kit Carson’s grave across the fence and wondered if he was lonesome. Did I mention there was wool? I did enjoy walking around with my beautiful sweetheart, however. She’s a fabric stroker from way back. Otherwise, I didn’t see any funnel cakes (just wool), and we didn’t stick around for the speed spinning contest. That’s the one where the winner is the person who spins the longest piece of yarn in two minutes, then they pass it around so everyone can feel it.




For some reason this reminds me of the scene in Catch-22 where Milo Minderbender is selling chocolate-covered Egyptian cotton and trying to get people to sample it. Not wool, though, so never mind.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Rita October 5, 2016, 2:27 PM

    Ha Ha

  • Bruce Williamson October 5, 2016, 5:09 PM

    John, I remember reading somewhere that llamas could make excellent natural guardians for herds of sheep and other such animals against coyote predation. The person suggesting this plan presented the amusing scenario of some coyotes trying to sneak up on a flock when the llamas amble over to them with a friendly “¿Hola, qué pasa?” The coyotes would take one look at such creatures and quickly decide there was somewhere else they needed to be!

    As a resident of New Mexico for almost ten years, your photos and stories are a delightful and often poignant way for me to celebrate my memories of living there. THANK YOU for the clarity and intimacy of what you share with your readers, and especially for your eloquence, your honesty, and your grit!!

  • Judy Copek October 6, 2016, 4:08 PM

    Those llamas are certainly woolly. Are they due for a shearing? Then some llama wool sweaters will be ready to fondle. We have a nice wool throw pillow we bought at an art fair a million years ago. Cats like to nap against it. You have to admit that wool beats polyester.

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