Iskay the llama loves tak­ing a dip in the swim­ming pool.

Our in­quis­i­tive crit­ter never wanted to miss out on fun around the farm.

Country - - CONTENTS - BY JOËL FREE­MAN Thorn­ton, New Hamp­shire

Liv­ing on a 100-acre farm in the White Moun­tains, we have our share of preda­tors. Af­ter a black bear broke into our chicken coop for the sec­ond time, we de­cided to get a llama as a live­stock guardian. We found an ad for lla­mas at a nearby goat farm. We took two males—a young all-black llama that we called KoKo, and an older black-and-white one that we named Iskay. Al­most im­me­di­ately we had prob­lems with Iskay. He had zero re­spect for elec­tric fenc­ing. No mat­ter what we did to keep him in, we’d turn around and he’d be out. And he was just plain nosy. When some­body drove into the yard, he was the first to check them out. Be­tween hav­ing a farm and a small busi­ness, we don’t get a lot of time off for va­ca­tions. So we de­cided to in­stall a pool. As if on cue, when the con­trac­tor ar­rived to be­gin work, so did Iskay. I lured him away with grain and closed him in the barn. But when I got home from work, there was our cu­ri­ous llama, ly­ing right in front of the con­trac­tor. I apol­o­gized for his be­hav­ior, but the con­trac­tor said he was get­ting a kick out of Iskay “work­ing” with him. Around July Fourth, the pool was in and the wa­ter chem­istry was per­fect. We in­vited friends over to en­joy the new pool with us. All day Iskay was on top of us. Our amused guests took a lot of selfies with the cu­ri­ous llama. But in the after­noon, I no­ticed Iskay was a lit­tle too fo­cused on the pool. I walked to the barn to get some grain in hopes that I could lure him away. As soon as I scooped the grain, I heard a com­mo­tion up by the pool. The llama had jumped into the wa­ter! As I watched in dis­be­lief, Iskay swam in cir­cles around my new pool, the dirt from his coat cloud­ing the wa­ter. We tried lur­ing him out, but he couldn’t ne­go­ti­ate the stairs. We fi­nally got a hal­ter and lead rope on him, my daugh­ter and my hus­band got a towel un­der him, and with some lift­ing and pulling we got the llama out of the pool! It took two days to clean the wa­ter af­ter that. We had Iskay in our lives for 20 years; there were cer­tainly a lot of ex­as­per­at­ing mo­ments, but there were twice as many times when he made us laugh.

Iskay soaks up the sun while he lounges by the pool.

The friendly llama cools down with a spray from the sprin­kler.

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