Lana the Lame Llama

Hello you ! So nice to meet you.

My name is Lana.

I’m a 2-el Llama of the beasty kind.

You know, the kind Ogden Nash wrote about –


The one-el Lama he’s a priest

The two-el Llama he’s a beast.

I will bet  a silk pyjama

There is no three-el Lllama

He was right of course. But he never did write a ditty about a three legged llama. If he did, it might just have been written for me. Not that I only have three legs. I do actually have four. Stumpy ones. But the third one is -well, a bit short. It doesn’t quite reach the ground like the other three. It makes me hobble around when I walk or run.

When I was just born, I was really self conscious about it you know. All the other baby llamas teased me so bad. I cried and cried. Running around playing with them was fun. For a while. But my stumpy little legs couldn’t keep up with them, especially ‘cos the short one made me wobble and hobble and fall over a lot. Pretty soon they stopped asking me to join in. And every time they saw me, they would laugh and call me horrible names.

They even started calling me  3-L.  There she is! Three L! Lana the Lame Llama! Ha-Ha-Ha-Haaaa!!! At first, I didn’t know what they meant. I just knew it was mean. And that it hurt. A lot.

One day Mama Llama found me curled up in a corner sobbing my heart out. She snuggled real close waiting for me to stop sobbing. Isn’t it nice how Mama Llamas know just the right thing to do when you’re sad. She knew I wasn’t ready to talk so she waited patiently.


Yes Lana?

Why do the other baby llamas laugh at me and call me horrible names.

Do they? What do they say to you?

The call me 3-L.


Yes. Lana the Lame Llama. 3-L. I don’t understand.

Oh, I see. Well, first let me tell you the little ditty that the 3-L comes from.

So she told me how Ogden Nash, this really funny, clever man, wrote a poem about llamas. It was to help kids remember the differences and learn how to spell them. Cool. I like that!

Next, do you know what lame means?

It’s like when you’re really dumb and stupid. I’m not dumb and stupid, I know I’m not !!

No, of course you’re not. But there is a different kind of lame too. It’s a word used to describe someone who can’t walk properly. Usually because there is something wrong with one  of their legs. Like you have with one of your back legs. So it’s a doctor word that some people use to make it sound mean and nasty.

Ooooh… my leg that is too short to reach the ground?

Exactly! But you know what? It’s the very thing that makes you different. A good different.  You’re not the same same as every other baby llama who has four legs exactly the same length. You, my darling little Lana the Lame Llama, are unique! You walk and run beautifully. Just differently.

Lana Llama being birthed

When you were being birthed, your Maker tried so very hard to get everything just perfect. But it was not meant to be. I think that’s because you ARE perfect just the way you are.

Mama, I never thought of it like that. It makes me – ME! There is no-one else who is just like me.

No. And you know what? I bet there are other little baby llamas who are not the same same either. I bet they feel just as sad and left out as  you do. Can you think of anyone?

I can, Mama!  I really, truly can!  I saw Larry just yesterday, hiding behind the bushes crying. I bet he was doing that ‘cos the mean, ‘normal’ llamas tease him about his long tail.

Poor Larry. I bet he wants to have friends to play with who don’t tease him. Just like you do.

Yeah. I bet he does. And, and, you know what else Mama? There’s a new little baby llama, Luna, whose ears are a funny shape. And there’s another one who has no hair on the top…. they all get teased.

I wonder what they would say if you were to ask them to come and play with you?

I’m going to go do that right now, Mama!!

And quick as a wink, with a flash of her cute but different button tail, Lana the Lame Llama hobble skipped away to find Larry and the others.

As Mama Llama watched, she saw them all running, playing and laughing together. In fact, they were having so much fun it was not long before the other baby llamas stopped what they were doing to see what all the noise was about.

Lana the Lame Llama and her herd of perfectly unique baby llama friends hang out together all the time.

The other baby llamas, the ones that used to tease them all the time, soon asked if they could join them. Now they are one big happy, baby llama play herd where not a single one of them ever teases anyone.  That’s because they have learnt that even though they are the same same, but different, they can still be best friends.

Raili Tanska

Cherish differentness




5 thoughts on “Lana the Lame Llama

  1. Oh Raili, that was so lovely to read and a great way to put across this message … to children and adults.
    Lana llama is adorable!

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