Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Passion of the Alpaca

With Easter just around the corner, I’m gearing up to get my Christ on, and what better way to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus than to shear the hair off a bunch of South American camel-like ungulates. That’s right: it’s alpaca-shaving time. At least, that’s how my mother is spending her Easter weekend and I long to join her. Let me know if you spot any cheap tickets to Eastern Iowa in the next of couple weeks.

To prepare the alpacas for shearing, true to the holiday, Mom will help lay them out and restrain them on long wooden planks, where they will then be stripped of their wool and dignity. Yet there is nothing Christ-like about the biting and spitting that my mother and her (Roman, Jewish) helpers will have to endure. When threatened, alpacas tend to go Old Testament.

But don’t worry: for every torturous shearing day that may or may not end with my mother losing a finger, there are scores of indulgent beauty pageant days.

You are a beautiful flower. You want to be a veterinarian. You play the euphonium like a dream.


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