The Llama Who Met the Moonlit Fox
by Matt Keasey on Oct 15, 2023
As a young Cria (that's a young llama to you and me), Lawson had a job with the milk llama. He would ride around in a cart delivering fresh milk to all the llama houses.
Lawson leaned back in his chair, reminiscing about the dark, cold, wintry mornings when he used to assist Dave, the milk llama, well before the break of dawn. He recalled how walking up to each house could be rather spooky, especially when it came to that one house on Alpaca Lane. With no streetlights around, on damp mornings, a mist would hang low over the ground, while tall trees loomed overhead. The house itself had a low profile with small windows tucked beneath a thatched roof.
Lawson would tiptoe up to the front door, where he placed the full milk bottles down as gently as possible so as not to wake anyone. In exchange, Lawson would pick up the empty bottles and... Wait a moment! The bottle felt squishy and slimy, and ewww, slugs! I'm not sure if you knew this, but slugs love milk. If the empty bottles weren't properly cleaned after being left outside, the slugs would swarm all over them. He would carefully remove the slugs with a twig or leaf he found nearby before collecting the cold, empty glass bottles.
Lawson glanced back down the long driveway to the lane. Shadows danced on the roughly kept grass lawn, illuminated by the silvery moonlight and the gnarled, leafless trees with skeletal fingers. In the distance, an owl hooted, adding to the eerie and uneasy feeling. Something rustled in the bushes on the far side of the lawn. Lawson hesitated, should he run as fast as he could or stand as still as possible? He crouched a bit lower to the ground and watched as the rustling continued. He had heard stories of the were-llama from his uncle when he was a cria, but he had always believed those were just tales... it couldn't possibly be a were-llama, could it? Just then, he saw a glint of moonlight sparkle to life. Two bulging eyes peered at him from inside the bush. Lawson's sense of unease grew. "There's no such thing as were-llamas, there's no such thing as were-llamas," he thought to himself. He closed his eyes for a brief moment and then looked back toward the bush, but the eyes had vanished. Carefully, he began to creep down the driveway, making sure his movements were soundless. Suddenly, a fox jumped out of the bushes, startling Lawson so much that his heart nearly leaped out of his chest and ran away on its own. The fox gave him a mischievous grin and went about its business. Lawson let out a sigh of relief and continued down the driveway. "Almost there," he said to himself.
"BOOOOOO!" came a shout from the end of the driveway. It was Dave, the milk llama, standing there and chuckling to himself. Lawson was furious.
Lawson snapped out of his memory, not just thinking about the scary experience, but also about his role on the milk round. He began to connect it with his current task of eliminating plastic. "You know, Spitball, we used to deliver milk in glass bottles, and we'd wash those bottles and refill them. But now, we don't do that anymore. We buy our milk in... wait a minute, in plastic bottles."
Written by Dr. Matt. P. Keasey