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… And Then He Spit in My Face!

A Caged Guanaco with Exquisite Aim

A Caged Guanaco with Exquisite Aim

We all know that camels spit at people, but did you know that American “camelids” can also do it? There are four species of American camelids in South America: guanacos (Lama guanicoe), llamas (Lama glama), alpacas (Vicugna pacos), and vicuñas (Vicugna vicugna).

In any case, there I was, visiting the store and little zoo at Incalpaca on the outskirts of Arequipa. It was there I saw this guanaco depicted above who was just in the process of accumulating saliva, which he forthwith spit right into my eye. The Peruvians who were traveling with me all broke into laughter, which I could not help joining in. After all, I was wearing glasses; so all I had to do was wipe them clean.

The guilty guanaco, having done his foul deed, stood proud and tall. This one yanqui forgave him. At the end of the day, I moved on; but he was still in his cage. (At least, he didn’t have to worry about being hunted down and eaten, as his kind are frequently in Argentina and Chile.)