The Resident Animals of Orchard House
by Andrew Kohn
The Orchard House barnyard is like a high school cafeteria. The llamas are our jocks, at the top of the social pyramid. Richard and Hyacinth are the elders of the group. The seniors. Our barnyard “Captains.” Onslow, Daisy, and baby Rose are the underclassmen, eating as many treats as they want, as long as the other two have already has their fill.
Our alpacas, Winston and Roosevelt, are freshman. New to the farm, they are finding their place in the social hierarchy. Soon they will join the llama herd, and integrate themselves as best they can.
The barnyard clown, Bacon, a pot-bellied pig, likes to dig up the ground, wallow in the mud, and chase the other animals around. He grunts with glee as he jumps on Winston and nips at his heals. When Bacon arrived, no one was happy about it. He was the new kid, and ostracized. But it only took a few days and couple watermelons to get him comfortable with his new surroundings.
The Orchard House sheep, Napoleon, Josephine, and Waterloo are loaners. They keep to themselves, sitting in the shade, eating hay. But when push comes to shove, their horns rule the barnyard. Even the jocks get out of their way as they approach. But gentle to the core, our rams love to be scratched on their necks and eat corn with eagerness unparalleled on the pasture.
Leon and Marvin, our Nigerian Dwarf Goats, are the newspaper kids. They can move within any crowd, but mostly keep to themselves. Leon squeezes in-between the fence to hang-out with the llamas, but always returns to Marvin, where they talk about Dungeons and Dragons or something of great import. At night, they sleep with Bacon.
With eight chickens running around, there is always some activity going on in the barnyard. All named after British royalty, our hens are all Silkies, with fluffy feathers and a penchant for being easily excitable. They are the cheerleaders of the group, squawking with disapproval when someone acts inappropriately, like walking into their coop while they’re inside.
The ducks, all 5 of them, are troublemakers. Like a gang, they move as one unit, chasing the cheerleaders and generally owning their little piece of Orchard House. If the want water, they’ll get their water. If they want your corn, they’ll take your corn. But like all teenagers, if you get in their faces, they run for the barn like ducklings.
We also have some dogs, cats, fish, finches and, lest I forget, the rabbits. Come out to Orchard House and see the animals. They’ll be happy to eat some treats from you and share some of the latest gossip from the coop.