I went for my morning’s constitutional around the lake and whilst I was inhaling the last invigorating winter air, a small llama walked up to me and raised her head in expectation of a pat.
In the countryside around Geneva we may encounter dogs, cats and birds. If you get lost you may be helped on your way by a fox, a wild boar or even a deer.
But no llamas.
Fortunately for my instant mental self assessment, the mystery was resolved by another bigger llama that was tethered to a pole. On the pole was a board with a picture of a circus that could be seen further along.
The little llama girl was roaming free but her mum had told her to stay close. Llama girl was delighted and every time a walker rounded the lake, she walked up in expectation. She followed them for a hundred meters before returning to her vantage point. Mum kept an eye out, ready for an Olympic spit should her little girl be in trouble.
Young animals are all the same. They walk around with huge eyes filled with wonder looking for their next best good friend. They live in bliss and have no inkling of the limitations of paradise.
But you know the story, right? One day llama girl will eat a fruit from the forbidden tree and instantly she’ll know that bad people want to lock her up or even eat her. She’ll know that winter is cold and that dying is painful. She will feel the weight of maturity crush her and that shine will leave her eyes.
But she won’t know that the most painful part is the knowing itself. If she knew that, she could continue to live in paradise because 99% of the time, the knowledge of impending pain is without actual foundation and she will be fine. If llama girl had the most basic knowledge of Zen, she would raise her furry paw and say to herself: What, my dear, is missing at this very instant?
She would bleatle in joy!
OK, I admit. Llamas aren’t conscious like humans. They probably don’t suffer from the imagined pain of knowing that things may be worse than they really are. Yet, looking at those huge eyes filled with love and joy compared to the dim looks of her mum, even llamas must experience a degree of loss of grace.
But not today. Llama girl will have a great day filled with lots of new best good friends.
Therefore, in the interest of world peace and avoidance of red buttons being pushed, I declare today: New-best-good-friend-llama-girl day.
If you’re with me then I invite you to make at least one new best good friend.
Enjoy new-best-good-friend-llama-girl day and no spitting please.