Who to blame?

So how did we end up raising alpacas anyway? From the time I was a little girl I have wanted three things no one I knew had ever thought to wish for: a cigar store indian, a covered bridge and an alpaca.

Why a little girl would want a cigar store indian is unclear, even to me…???  The covered bridge is a bit more understandable. They are beautiful wooden structures, cool on warm days, great to fish from, and I once lived near one and was ready to block traffic and call it mine. This is probably the ultimate antique–ooh, maybe some insight into the indian? I even wrote an article for “Maryland Magazine” that had me trekking to every covered bridge in the state comparing structure and history.

Our second alpaca has our fourth.

Our second alpaca has our fourth.

The third item I wanted was, obviously, an alpaca. (I didn’t know you needed two or more at that time.) Mrs. Logmann, my second grade teacher, is to blame for all of this:

Dear Mrs. Logmann,

Thank you for the A on my geography report on Peru. I didn’t know there were animals related to camels that lived anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. I found out about several: llamas, guaranos, vicunas, and alpacas. I plan to spend my free time for the next couple of years sketching these animals and driving my teachers crazy with doodles of alpacas in the margins of my papers. I will quit when I get a low grade because of those doodles and I will never mention alpacas to anyone for many, many years.

Then, when I have lived a reasonably normal life, raised a child and had a career, my friend Jocelyn will go with me on a whim to the Virginia State Fair where we will see real, live alpacas and their humming will intoxicate me all over again. I will remark to her that I would really love to have one of them. Although they are cute to look at and even cuter to listen to, even Jocelyn will think I am insane.

My husband will take a job in Utah and I will say, “I’ll go if I can have an alpaca,” and will lure him to visit alpaca ranches and eventually coerce him into letting me buy the first three from a nice alpaca ranch where they will be agisted–fed and cared for–and we will visit every so often. We buy three, one because he promised, the second because I don’t want the first friendless, and the third because of the discount. I am pretty persuasive and my husband wants me to be happy. Add a baby (cria) in July, 2008.

So I asked for an alpaca for Christmas and got it! Enter Cavatina. Our January anniversary netted another, the pregnant Betty and Martello. Zeke was born in July; another will arrive in November. I will write later about the land and the ranch.

Yours truly,


P. S. Please do not notice my mistakes. I still only use the dictionary for casual reading and not to look up spellings.

Divinity was our second alpaca choice (and definitely the pregnant girl.) She is the mother of a champion, and now mother to two of our additions, Demelza who was born two days after our purchase is a true black. Zeke arrived on July 8, 2009 and is a first class charmer. The jury is still out on whether he is dark brown or medium brown. Divinity is a strong, big boned girl with nice conformation who delivers nice colored crias when bred to colored males. Divinity


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6 Responses to “Who to blame?”

  1. Deborah Vassar Says:

    Very nice! I always enjoy hearing other alpaca owners motivations for getting into the alpaca business. Did you ever get your cigar store Indian?

    • zenasurialpacas Says:

      Not yet, but I seriously looked at some just two weeks ago. I can’t decide whether I want a new one or an old one. I do know one carved outside the U. S. won’t do at all. My dear, long-suffering spouse barely restrained me by reminding me that we are building a barn and house in Oklahoma right now. However, I took the name and address of the carver and once we’re moved, look out! There is also a pond there that almost cries out for a little covered bridge.

  2. Maren Anderson Says:


    I can’t blame any of my teachers on my alpaca purchases. I blame my husband and an “alpaca tax seminar” at an alpaca show.

    Plus, they’re cute as can be.

    Good luck on your wooden additions, Native American or otherwise.


    • zenasurialpacas Says:

      Love those indians, but alpacas and their barns more at this point. Once alpacas are established, though the indian is next and the covred bridge can;t be far behind.

  3. Alpaca Farmgirl Says:

    Please get the wooden Indian and put him in your logo! I always liked those too. and the big carved buffalos you sometimes see. Made me marry a sculptor.

    I had never even heard of an alpaca til 1998. Amazing that you doodled them…

    • zenasurialpacas Says:

      I figure I should wait on the indian until we get to Oklahoma. I hadn’t even thought about a carved buffalo–hmmm.
      The alpacas have been there in the back of my mind since the second grade. Of course then they were almost mythological and it never occurred to me that people could actually own them unless they were indigenous peoples in Peru.

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