Llama, Llama, Dingo

When Hector the Peruvian llama ends up in a field of Welsh lamb, he thinks his dreams of being a singer are shattered but it’s surprising what you can find even on a hilltop in Wales.

Where is Bob the Cat?

by Jules de Jongh

Season 3 Episode 5

[opening theme music and strapline]

Nanny Bea: Heloooo, so good of you to join us. The tea is ready and my neighbour Jules will be bringing us a story any…

[knock sfx]

Nanny Bea:  minute now.

Nanny Bea:  It seems someone is at my door. Hello, who might you be?

JulesI’m definitely your neighbour Jules with a story.

Nanny Bea: And what perfect timing, we were waiting for you.

Jules:  Good thing I came with a tale. Today it’s all about mistaken identity and dreams coming true.

Nanny Bea:  You won’t believe this but I know the wonder word!

[insert wonder word jingle]

Nanny Bea:  Today’s wonder word is…

[insert drum roll]

Nanny Bea: Discombobulated. To be discombobulated is to be confused, like when dear Edna used a magic marker as lipstick, no one had the heart to tell her.

[insert chimes]

Jules:  She does have very rosy lips. Are you ready for a story?

Nanny Bea:  Oh, yes please.

Jules:  Okay then, Llama, Llama, Dingo , adapted for radio

Some people look at a llama and think, ‘Ooo, a long necked sheep!’ but don’t let Hector hear you say that. Hector is a proud Peruvian llama who takes an unexpected diversion. You see Hector had plans, hopes, dreams of forming a Doo Wop singing group and good thing too as he had the voice of an angel. Hector booked his ticket to a little land called Wales, like the seafaring mammals but not at all. Traditionally called ‘The land of song,’ it seemed the best place for our llama Hector to find the rest of his Doo Wop group but like I said things did not go to plan. 

When he pulled into port in a giant freighter, Hector could tell it was Wales as it was raining and all the street signs were full of letters that didn’t seem to go together but who was Hector to judge, I mean llama begins with two ‘l’s so…anyway.

The journey across the big blue Atlantic ocean was notable with massive waves throwing them all about but somehow it didn’t compare to the wiggly Welsh mountain roads. Hector was feeling a bit road sick when the truck he’d boarded, finally stopped. He and a few other passengers collected along the way were let off at the rolling green hill with not a friend in sight, that was until their truck driver opened the gate. All at once the green field turned fluffy white with sheep pouring out from every direction. Hector was a bit discombobulated. Had he arrived at llama central? Was this his family, the one he wrote to in advance of his arrival only a lot smaller than he’d imagined? ‘Baaaaaa, baaa, baaa’ apparently not. At that first baa, Hector realised this was not his field, there had been some kind of mistake. He turned to tell the driver but the driver was already gone and the gate firmly shut. Hector instinctively let out his alarm cry, ‘Mmmm, hm, hm, hm, Mmmm, hm, hm, hm, Mmmm, hm, hm, hm,’ kind of a horse’s neigh but with his lips closed. The field of sheep were not alarmed by this cry as it meant nothing to them.

‘Look,’ he said to the nearest sheep, ‘there seems to be some mistake, I should not be here, I am not a sheep.’ The sheep gathered around him laughed, ‘Course you are luv, were all Welsh sheep here,’ said a kind, well meaning sheep. Well meaning, but wrong Hector thought. As he wasn’t getting any sense from the crowd he asked if he could see a manager, someone in charge.

‘You mean Gareth, our ram’ another well meaning sheep said and the herd parted like the red sea, only white. At the furthest end of the field Hector could with what looked like a haram of sheep surrounding a very large…ram? 

‘Wait a minute,’ thought Hector as he got closer, ‘that’s no male sheep…that’s a…LLAMA!’

‘Alright, alright, nothing to see,’ said the so called ram as he pulled Hector aside for a private word.

‘What is with that accent and the name, I’ve never met a Peruvian Gareth,’ Hector said too loudly for ‘Gareth’s’ liking.

‘Shhh, shh, shh, keep it down, I’ve got a good thing going on here,’ said the llama in sheep’s clothing.

‘But you’re not a sheep, I’m not a sheep,’ Hector insisted but ‘Gareth’ as the llama formerly called Cesar refers to himself said, he would be treated like a king here. 

‘All the grass you can eat, female sheep thinking you are a superior breed and next door is a baby vegetable farm, have you tasted baby vegetables, even their cast offs are as tender as uh…as…well as a baby vegetables.’

Hector wasn’t convinced. Gareth formerly called Cesar begged his fellow llama, ‘Please don’t blow my cover. I loooooooooooove it here.’

Woah, Hector wasn’t expecting the first llama he bumped into to have such a beautiful singing  voice. Gareth formerly called Cesar could be part of the Doo Wop group but two voices wouldn’t cut it. Hector decided to sleep on it but until then would guard Gareth’s secret.

‘Come by!’ bellowed across the valley and woke Hector with a start. ‘What on earth was that?’

‘ It’s just the sheepdog,’ Gareth explained, ‘best to keep clear of him if you can, he’s got a nip on him that hurts something rotten.’

‘Well he doesn’t look like any sheepdog I’ve ever seen,’ said Hector. Just then Hector and Gareth were distracted by a bundle of less than perfect but still oh so tender baby vegetables dumped in a trough on the edge of the field. ‘Baa, baa, baa,’ all the sheep surged towards it but like Gareth said, he was treated like a king around here so the sheep parted once again to give him first nibbles and as his friend too was a handsome albeit never before seen breed of mega sheep, they let Hector get in for an early nibble too. Hector felt a bit guilty though, fooling those well meaning sheep so he just grabbed a mouth full and headed off to the other side of the field to eat alone. That would’ve been fine, the sheep were happy, focused on Gareth but Hector didn’t think about that definitely not a sheepdog.

That hound came up to Hector growling and nipping, trying to get at Hector’s heels. Fortunately for Hector, he was light on his feet as not only an accomplished singer but a dancer as well. In the midst of this dance, Hector realised what he hadn’t before, ‘That’s no sheepdog, that’s a dingo.’ Luckily the hound heard a whistle off in the distance, he growled again at Hector then grabbed his food and ran off from whence he came. ‘Hey, that dingo stole my baby corn.’ No one cared, they were busy with their own baby corn, carrot and courgette eating except for the accused dingo, he looked back at Hector before jumping in the farmers truck, then he howled, ‘ah ooooooo.’ Hector was both frightened and fascinated. Another singer in their midst.

The day went by quickly because, Hector hated to admit, Gareth was right. This pretend to be a big sheep gig was sweet. But how could he come so far and give up on his dreams Hector told Gareth. ‘You know my friend,’ Gareth confided, ‘I too wanted to be a singer, more Barbershop than Doo Wop but both genres have their merits.’ Hector was intrigued, didn’t he miss singing. Gareth did but this is the hand he was dealt and he had to make the best of it. The two of them fell asleep singing harmonies of She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain. Which was fitting as they were almost on a mountain and she, if we’re talking about sheep, were always coming ‘round. 

The very next morning Hector awoke with the same startling cry, ‘Come by!’ And the dingo was back. He got the girls in order just by showing up but he was heading over to Hector. Gareth had already joined the sheep, he’d learned his lesson with that dog.

‘Grrrr,’ the dingo growled. Hector tried to negotiate, ‘Come on, I was wrong, a dingo is a perfectly good sheepdog, why not?’ The dingo didn’t let up so Hector tried another angle, ‘And you do a great job with the sheep, I mean look how they all behave when you’re around. You are commanding and sleek and you have an excellent singing voice.’

‘You really think so,’ said the flattered dingo. Apparently he too had a dream but he landed this sheep herding gig and kind of left his singing dreams behind. ‘I have an idea,’ Hector told him. For days after that the three gathered secretly; Gareth, Hector, Dingo (and surprisingly Dingo was his name, oh). Until a few weeks later when the three announced to the field of sheep their new Doo Wop group, Llama, Llama, Dingo ( and again in harmony). 

They were a huge hit, sheep and sheepdogs travelled from all around to hear them sing. And the trio finally lived the dream.

The End

Nanny Bea: Why thank you Jules. Their latest album is due out any day now, I’ve been looking on Spotify but nothing yet.

Jules: So you like Doo Wop?

Nanny Bea: Do what?

Jules: Oh, never mind. 

Nanny Bea: Will you be back next week.

Jules: I sure will

Thomas:  Go to NannyBea.com

Jules:  Go there to find out about all our episodes. Then like us, recommend us but most importantly join us next week for more Tales and Tea.

[Be on the Show jingle]

Mr Announcer: This has been a Toad in the Hole production for NannyBea.com.