These alpacas probably have a busier social life than you do

By: Francesca Bond

Original content from Gusto.  

All the alpacas needed to do was stand there. And that’s what they did. That's pretty much all they ever do.

At the sprawling Roycroft Campus in East Aurora, the iconic architecture usually steals the show. Each intricately crafted exterior dots a quaint, time-traveling setting. But nothing -- not even the Roycroft buildings -- could steal attention away from three alpacas wearing festive headbands.

As shoppers strolled into the Roycroft Inn’s annual holiday show, they were delighted by the fluffy alpacas wearing antlers and Christmas light headbands.

Two toddlers in matching blue jackets couldn’t peel their eyes from the alpacas. “I like that one,” one of the boys pointed, trying to get a closer look.

"Why is there poop right there? That is disgusting," one of the boys asked. It's the farm life, kid.

Brad Lang smiles. He’s been up since 5 a.m., doing farm chores and getting the talent ready for the Roycroft show. The night before, Brad and his wife, Jeanne MacLeod-Lang, were awake until nearly midnight, after showing the alpacas at the Larkin Square tree-lighting.

The two have built quite the alpaca empire at their farm, Thistle Creek Alpacas. And they bring that empire to festivals, concerts, schools, libraries and bars across Western New York, vending alpaca goods to afford the costly efforts of rehabilitating and caring for the 67 alpacas currently at their farm.

When my colleague and I spoke about writing an alpaca story, he said it best. “These alpacas go to more Western New York events than you do.”

And they’re undoubtedly more fun at holiday parties than all of us.

Read the rest of this story at Gusto.