If you go down to the woods today - prepare for a big smacker of a surprise!
Because Larry the Llama likes nothing more than spreading a little seasonal goodwill to visitors who pop along to say hello.
Now show him a sprig of our Grange Farm mistletoe and watch him pucker up.Andrew Burman
Particularly if they pucker up with a bunch of mistletoe in hand!
The one-year-old Camelid - originally a native of the snowy Andean mountains in South America - has become quite a favourite after moving in with Lowton farmer Andrew Burman at his Grange Farm logs and hay suppliers in Stone Cross Lane South three months ago. Almost a year old, he can live to 30.
Larry, who would have had his long cream locks sheered and woven into ponchos in his native land, was all shy and modest when he first arrived.
In fact he wouldn’t come near man or beast, shunning Grange Farm’s cows and positively disliking the donkeys.
But then Andrew discovered the clucking secret to success.
He allowed Larry to sleep in the chicken shed alongside the poultry ... and the cute creature has never looked back.
He has also flourished since the family discovered his favourite titbit - rabbit food!
Larry much prefers it over traditional pony nuts and hay.
Andrew said: “Jane looks after him here and it was she who discovered that he is always up for a smooch if he thinks there is some rabbit food coming his way.
“The transformation in him since he arrived is amazing. When he first came he was so shy he stood there with his back turned in a real sulk.
“Now show him a sprig of our Grange Farm mistletoe and watch him pucker up. I think he is fabulous and I am keeping my eyes peeled at the auction to get him a llama pal. “All our customers notice him and say hello to him and I know that now it is Christmas tree time, he is going to be a real hit with all the children that come here with their mums and dads to choose one.”
Eventually Andrew hopes to open a farm educational trail which will feature Larry.
He has already bought some impressive companions in the shaggy shape of two magnificent horned highland cattle and a family of very comical, curious goats.