Before I begin, Heartbeat would like to thank you all for your lovely comments on her introduction post. She's already stolen my camera and gone off with it, so it looks like her first adventure is underway!
For this post, however, I want to talk about alpacas. The Schleich alpacas, to be precise.
As a fan of the videogame series Harvest Moon, I'm very fond of farm animals, and more recent games in the series have now introduced alpacas to the lineup of livestock available. This, in turn, got me interested in the Schleich alpacas, but since they're retired it's taken me until now to get hold of a set. And, I've got to say, they are every bit as adorable and fuzzy as I expected!
Schleich label them as a 'stallion', 'mare' and 'foal' respectively, but I have failed to find any references to these terms being used for the animals in real life. Instead, it would seem that an adult male is called a 'macho' (literally 'male' in Spanish), an adult female is called a 'hembra' (Spanish for 'female') and a baby up to 1 year old is called a 'cria' (from a root word meaning 'to breed/to create'.
The models are smaller than perhaps expected, being about the size of the Schleich Fell or Dartmoor ponies, but much daintier. Since alpacas are quite small and slim in real life, I'd guess that probably makes these guys 1:24 scale.22 defined shades or colours of alpaca fleece, ranging from white to black, fawn to brown, and pinto to spotted. From what I can tell, the macho's colour would probably be described as a mid to dark fawn, but I like to refer to him as 'fox' coloured :)
The hembra is a much more straight forward dark brown with white patches. The models are of the more common Huacaya (pronounced 'wa-kai-ah') breed, but interestingly she bears a striking resemblance (at least in colour) to this real-life Suri.
I can't help but think that alpacas look a bit like a cross between a camel and a sheep, especially with those thick fuzzy coats...
The cria is just the sweetest little thing! Look at that little smiling face!
Baby alpacas make me think of a cross between a lamb and a foal: two of nature's cutest newborns (at least in my opinion XD). I love how she's a cross between mum and dad, with the hembra's white markings and the macho's fawn coat.
Whilst mum seems very mature and no-nonsense, dad seems to have a twinkle of mischief in his eye, and I think he's passed it on to his daughter. There's just something very cheeky about that little grin...
Seeing as they're a unique little family of three in my collection, I wanted to give them all matching names. Eventually I settled on 'Farthing' for the macho, 'Tuppence' for the hembra and 'Ha'penny' for the cria, which are all names of old coins here in the UK. If I ever find some more alpacas for my little herd I'll be sure to keep up the naming tradition with them :)