A short goodbye to Bernard, our black llama, who died today. He was 16 which is good going for a llama, and had been noticeably looking old for over a year. He was one of the first batch of llamas we bought in 2006 from Bernard Morestin. He was a great trekking llama and last year fathered two lovely babies for us, Vicky and Georgie. If all goes well, two more of his will be born this year, so he’ll live on in our herd!

When we bought him, he was called Alex de Garenne. M. Morestin had bought him from the de Garenne stud. Apparently he’d arrived in the back of a very small car, and kicked the window in! We changed his name to Bernard since it’s a good Irish name, and we wanted an Irish theme for the animals. In his early days here, Bernard delighted in whipping up the other three males into a fighting frenzy, but he carefully stayed clear of the action. He had a strong streak of cunning!

Had a worrying few hours this morning. The ‘équarrassiers’ (knackers) seemed to be insisting that I’d have to put him in a container to be taken away in, since he’s classified as an ‘animal exotique’. Cardboard boxes don’t come llama-sized. What was I to do? But it’s OK, I’d got hold of the wrong end of the stick! He’ll be collected tomorrow to be turned into glue – sad but useful!

Here’s my favourite photo of him.

Bernard in his Christmas rug