While Don’s sister Debbie was here for a visit last weekend, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. We saw llamas:

And sheep:

And cows:

And horses, and goats, and chickens…

We were footloose and fancy-free until we showed up at our second herd of llamas. This llama was very unhappy with our arrival and made sure to tell us by growling and showing us his teeth. I had never seen this behavior before:
 

I’m sure it had everything to do with this:

We got really worried when we saw this though:

Our friend Danni at Critter Farm once warned us what happens when a llama pins its ears back. It’s not meant to be pretty.

Since we weren’t sure after the fact that we interpreted the llama drama correctly, I consulted with Danni. Here’s what she wrote back:

Ok, here’s what I can tell you about this photo.  One llama has ears upright and forward facing…a sign of being interested, curious, and not at all on the defensive.  The second llama with the ears flat is concerned about something, but isn’t yet ready to spit.  Generally, there are two phases to spitting and there are definite warning signs:  1) the ears go back and 2) the head goes up.  Most llamas really do try to threaten or warn their adversaries that they are about to make a serious move prior to spitting.  I don’t think this guy was quite yet ready to spew.  For one thing, it’s quite a commitment. It is smelly, nasty stuff that comes out of their mouths.  Once they spit, they generally have to stand around for a while, jaws hanging open, trying to air their mouths out.  🙂

Daddy llama was simply doing a very good job of protecting his baby:

While at the same time being very courteous by withholding his spit:

Thanks for keeping your head down, Baby Daddy. 

And thanks for educating us, Danni. ♥

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