Friday, January 29, 2010


When you think of language, one thinks of a mouth and a tongue wagging, singing, praying, preaching ,et al ,as the area where one can hear and interpret what a person is telling you.  Now do not get me wrong, I am not meddling here, but life is totally about relationships.  This was the main topic Jesus taught ; how to get along with and appreciate your fellowman. I have decided that there is another clear way to get "the message" .  It takes a bit of discernment. You have to know what is "normal".  Their body can tell it all.  I mean the other parts of the body, not the mouth.
For you see, the alpaca, my pasture buddies, cannot speak in a verbal language.  Their bodies tell me everything, most of the time.  I can tell by their ears, their gait, their body posture if  they are glad to see me, or when they are hungry or want that flake of alfalfa in the barn, when they are in labor, and when they are getting that wonderful bond going with their new crias. There is a whole litany of body speakings.
One however that I have come to recognize is pain.  We all understand that the alpaca is an animal of prey.  They always are on guard. We have discovered if they are in pain, they become very stoic and can be far down a tube of illness and you would never have known it.  Unless, you were looking for their body language.
The photo of this little fellow is telling me volumns.  I know he has had some intervention from the human a few days ago with getting his teeth trimmed, his nails clipped and his monthly de-wormer.  He is a very sensitive boy.  I personally think I weaned him too early from his dam, but that is not something I cannot  undo at this point. I may be reaping those aftershocks now.  He is celebrating his first birthday and should be romping with his buddies; but his rolled up back tells me he is in pain.  He does not run  this week. He just stands as if moving hurts.  The vet has checked everything that we can from a gross level.  I have given him Albon in case the results come back that he has picked up a particular parasite in the Coccidia family.  The standing still, humped up back and general malaise gets corrected with a dosing of this yummy yellow liquid.
Glad we caught this for that issue can take your livestock down in a hurry.
The next photo is after treatment, notice the head set is better and the back is not rolled. bet you have seen this before, too.

This message is to watch for the signs that are not audible, often times they tell you more than if they could talk!  Same with the folks around you, they may say one thing with their lips but their body language will reek volumnes and will tell you differently.
Vulnerability comes to mind.  The alpaca does not want to become a victim, so he stands still, very still.
I am thinking we are not so far up that chain that the human might protect themselves  in the same manner. Cannot let anyone get too close; they may discover my weakness, insecurity or frailty in a certain area.  There are some very loud body language tips that will give one away.  Where are the arms; crossed, hanging down, up around face?  Where are hands: in a grip on each other, in pockets, messing with hair or face? Where are the eyes: looking aglance, straight forward, or hard and straight at you?
My daughter does not have to say a word, but I can watch the corners of her mouth when she is wanting to be private.  The corners of her eyes are a dead give away.  If you are concerned that your body is saying one thing and you mean another, study yourself.  Look for the nuances that the profilers use to ascertain truth. I know that I, for one, will look for truth and honesty.  I do business with those that are honest with me.  I truly try to return the favor, hope my body language tells you that also!
Your privacy is your own business but sometimes a discerning, sensitive friend is  welcomed when you cannot "speak" of it.
Til next time......


  1. This was very insightful, Caroline, and beautifully written. Karen

  2. Karen: i think you are the most gracious of ladies that has the pleasure of being in the life of an alpaca. Folks who do not own them have no clue what connect you to have to God in just a touch. Bless you.