Saturday, August 19, 2006
Grand hopes were pinned on llamas: They would carry the heavy equipment of the soldiers who penetrate into Lebanon. The llama, which chews cud and belongs to the camel family (Camelidae), has no hump and is smaller than the camel. It lives in the Andes and is used to transport heavy goods. This beast of burden seemed ideal for back-breaking work on Lebanon's mountainous, cleft terrain. But the Israel Defense Forces' planners overlooked the llama's intelligence and intuition; not surprisingly, the animals refused to cross the border. All efforts to persuade or prod them, whether with a small or big stick, proved futile.