Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine May 2021

Page 56

Alpaca Therapy by Chantal Bellehumeur When Claudia discovered the existence of alpacas, she instantly fell in love with them and experienced the therapeutic effects of being around such friendly exotic animals.

It all started on that hot summer day in July when Claudia and her husband Henry were returning from a romantic summer weekend getaway. They’d rented a log cabin by the lake in the Laurentians to celebrate their twelve wedding anniversary, and had decided to take the scenic route home even though the steady motion of the rolling car always lulled Claudia to sleep.

Claudia slowly opened her eyes and looked out her window. "They kind of look like llamas," she sleepily responded. "But cuter." She’d seen many fields with cows or horses during their many road trips together near their hometown of Montreal over the years, but never anything resembling llamas. It seemed very odd, and Claudia became curious about what she was looking at. As they passed a long wooden building beside the field, she saw a large rectangular sign with the words 'Mckinnon Alpaca Farm' written in big black letters next to a brown cartoonish alpaca head. A large gravel parking lot full of vehicles and the sight of occupied picnic tables near a colourful metal play structure full of active children indicated that the farm was a visiting one, and Claudia expressed her interest in checking it out with a sudden burst of energy. They had already rolled past the entrance, so Henry pulled over onto the side of the road and doubled back. He found a place to park near the back of the lot since all the closer spots were taken.

As Henry smoothly drove on a countryside road with Claudia half-asleep in the passenger seat, he noticed dozens of big fluffy animals with brown, white, or black fur within a large fenced-in field of grass. "What are those?" he said over the faint sound of light rock playing on the radio.

Henry, a handsome man of average height who had the hint of a tan, short dark brown hair, and light - 56 -

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