All the cool kids have Alpaca trainers

Here’s the story. According to the Daily Telegraph in Australia, a boy named Rory needed a Footballing partner. With Rory sans siblings, and living on the Children’s animal farm in Victoria, you can just guess what happened next.

Mom noticed the Alpaca "Chicky" had a real ‘tude, so she saw a potential match. She encourage "Chicky" to tackle, the border collie "Jet" to retreive, the miniature pig "Hamlet" to run around in circles and the cockatoo "LuLu" to cheer them all on from the sidelines.

Chicky: "Sproing!"


Chicky: "Get out the way—tiny hooves comin’ thru"


Rory: "ooooof!"


Jet: "Dewd!"


What a cute kid. Thanks for the story tip, "Nightwatchman" blogger Glenn P.!




    Utopia exists.

  2. Kris, in New England says:

    That 3rd picture is a winner. What a great set of photos.

  3. RevWaldo says:

    I dunno….looks kinda photoshopped to me…

  4. I heard of Animal Farm, but Animal League?


  5. Chicky, Rory, Jet, and Hamlet. A perfect team!

  6. Constance says:

    omfg. how could someone be so callous and stupid?! It’s obvious that the alpaca is asserting dominance over the kid! He could totally crush him at any moment.

    That dog is OBVIOUSLY seconds away from a vicious attack.

    ..seriously though. totally cute.

  7. *tramples*
    chicky’s neck looks scary! like its going to be twisted..

  8. the Honourable Gladys Anstruther says:

    A real life ‘Babe’ story some thing for Dick King-Smith

  9. This makes my pets look SO lazy.

  10. Aw, this is the best!! I’ve been addicted to CO for a while now, but this is the cutest post since! I just love it.

  11. That first pic cracks me up with the little alpaca legs and the look on its face. The look in the third pic is pretty humorous too.

    Watch Rory become a famous footballer someday. I can hear the interviews now about “how it all started” for him as a kid. Too funny.

  12. Yeah, I’m with RevWaldo on this one… there’s some pretty obvious photoshopping action happening here…

  13. I consider myself to have pretty hard core Photoshop chops, so I’m skeptical of lots of “unbelievable” pics. However- if you check the hair on the alpaca in pic #3 and the shadows on pic #4, you can see either it’s real or someone has such great PS chops that I must bow down.

    I’m hoping it’s the former, cuz these pics are just too dang cute.

  14. This is the kind of childhood every kid should have! Alpacas have the sweetest faces, the lashes, the big eyes. Lucky little Rory!

  15. oh for god’s sake, photoshopped my ASS! (not that you’d want to, i have a lovely ass)

    this is hilarious, i love it. i wanna play rugby with funny things with long necks and staring-straight-ahead-faces.

  16. I like the dogs face in the 3rd picture.

    He looks like he’s thinking “the next time that damn ‘paca blocks me, I’m gonna bash him Aussie ghetto style”.

  17. It’s not photoshopped! I saw a video of the same alpaca and the kid on the news a couple of days ago. So cuuuuute! I hear alpacas are fuzzy and kind animals.

  18. Yeah, but, Dazie, pic #1? YOU have the Photochops, TELL me that one’s legit, I DARE you…

    Not that ALL of them aren’t cute, mind you. I don’t mean to disrespect the cute.

  19. Definately not photoshopped. Rory and Chicky have been shown playing football with each other on TV here in Australia all week.

    Another hilariously cute things about the story is that Rory sounds like an old pro footballer when he speaks.

    Best kid and best alpaca ever.

  20. Finn — you back from España yet? Looks like Jet might be Jack’s Ozzie cousin.

  21. Beauregard says:

    Constance, your comment is even funnier when looking at the dog. He has such a funny, dopey look on his face.
    arbed, I agree! The legs in the first pic are totes redonk!
    GAH! What a funny/cute animal.

  22. i smell a straight-to-video disney movie coming on!

  23. Pheral — [cough snort LOL] …I’m dyin here.

    Pic #1 does have a sort of ‘shopped feel to it, in that Chicky has a bit of a dark “aura,” and isn’t physically wrapped around Rory, and *could* have been pasted into a layer pretty easily.

    But my question is, with all the footage of these three available, why would anyone *need* to fake any of the shots? The “aura” could be explained by lighting and what appears to be a 2-tone coat. It’s quite possible to have hairs that are dark at the tip & light at the base; even one of our cats is like that. Spot is in fact a rare Norwegian Alpaca Mog. (To be fair, though, she *is* Photoshopped.)

  24. Is #1 a vampire alpaca, as it doesn’t appear to have a shadow?

  25. How neat! I didn’t immediately think the picture was ‘shopped but now that I think about it, the first picture looks really funny, not weird funny but funny funny. If you don’t think about the story, it’s like there’s a random Alpaca collaged onto the picture.

    Awesome story, though!

  26. Guin, look again. The shadow is faint due to Chicky being off the ground, but it’s there.

    That is SO WONDERFUL. I am not a sports person, like, ever, in any way… but for these I would make an exception.

  27. Y’all are shop-obsessed. Picky picky picky… 😉

  28. More bears repeating…
    😉 😉

  29. bearsbearsbearsbearsbearsbearsbearsbears
    bearsbearsbearsbearsbearsbearsbears bananaphone! oops I’m confused.

  30. THIS IS TOO @#$%ING CUTE. I can’t stand it. Aaahhh!!

  31. wow what rugby stars!

  32. Yay Alice!
    Scrum scrum scrum scrum scrum scrum scrum, ALPACAPHONE…

  33. Ok, I must have an alpaca. And if I get one, I will knit a sweater out of him. 🙂

  34. Pronking, sproinging alpaca, ultra-cute kid.


  35. Can’t stay a grumpypants for long around you guys!! lol 🙂

  36. I’m so jealous of Rory! All those photos are tooooo adorable.

  37. Laura, you might want to check out this link:
    I sent it in to CO a while back because there were some cuties there. This person has a farm where she raises animals that have exotic fibre.

  38. Dum de dum de doot de doo…
    Updated the Yay pic…
    Deedle de dum de w00t w00t…

  39. TEHO, yr. the best!! lof the addition.

  40. uh, wha?!

  41. Elizabeth says:

    I think the pictures look photoshopped because of how tight the focus is on the kid and the alpaca. The blurry background behind the sharp foreground images tends to look “fake” but it’s just a camera technique.

  42. At, new surprise on Yay…

  43. chunkstyle says:

    No more photoshop controversy! It would have been easier to actually train the animals than to spend all of that time photoshopping. I’ll bet that it may have been run through some sharpening to enhance to picture, but nothing more. Enjoy to cute and leave the cute-spiracy theories to the tin-foil hatters out there.

  44. uh, yeah. I noticed the new yay addition…

    the “wha” was me being totally dumbfounded by the hilarity/cuteness of this construction. A boy, a dog, an alpaca, a pig, and a cockatoo playing football? too, too much. espec. for this tired brain on a Monday.

  45. …cockatoo…?
    What pic are *you* looking at, Thinkie?

  46. The cockatoo is not in the photo, but it is mentioned in the description.

    These pictures made my Monday!

  47. Ahhhh… OK, thought for a moment there that the Yay pic had taken on a life of its own, acquiring new elements without my intervention, knowledge, or indeed within my limited powers of observation.

    Note to self: Begin administering monthly Turing tests on Yay pic, starting yesterday.

  48. LOL’ing!!

    (thanks, Jaye)

  49. I wanna see pics of the miniature pig and cockatoo too!

  50. ::joins teho in the general choke-snortling laughter::

  51. awesome

  52. The first pic is precious! *jumps for joy*

  53. And my desperate and unrequited love for alpacas grows even more…

    I, too, want to see the minipig and cockatoo.

  54. Ponygirl says:

    All I have to say is : AWESOME!

  55. “Introducing your starting squad for the 2006 Victoria Wanderers!

    #1 A rookie, but one who ‘packs’ a lot of punch, Chicky the Alpaca!

    #2 A seasoned vet, used to confusing the opposition with his fancy footwork, as well as his strong defense, Hamlet ‘The Hammer’ Hamster!

    #3 A crowd favorite, who is never sheepish about signing autographs, who fires on all jets non-stop, Jet, the border collie!

    #4 Impossible to defend, guiding footballs on the fly, a hardy cheerleader, but always willing to step in at either wing position, Lu Lu The Cockatoo!

    Led by captain Rory ‘The Rusher’ this is definitely the year that Victoria is victorious!”

  56. Hm I wonder why they didn’t ‘shopp in the cheering cockatoo with a little cartoon bubble going “Yay!”

  57. Great idea, alice! Teho?

  58. Sure, yeah, ‘cept… no cockatoo!

  59. “leave the cute-spiracy theories to the tin foil hatters out there”
    Tin foil hatters~THAT’S FUNNY!!!!!

  60. Michelle says:

    I know I’ve said this before, but this one really is the cutest. EVAR!!!!!1

  61. Right, Thinker… like just ANY ‘too will do, when it’s Lu to the Lu who’s true? Gosh.

  62. aw, just admit it, teho, you don’t have TIME.

    that will do as an excuse 😉

  63. hehe, Theo, you’ll just have to contact Rory there for a picture of Lulu 😉

  64. [siiiiigh]

  65. …well, I *did* find a pic fof one of those “Tinfoil Hatters” out there:,10114,5082805,00.jpg

  66. If you had time to find that you had time to…oh never mind!

  67. Hey, no-one’s stopping *you* from doing it… 😉

    Here, I’ve even got a free pic-hosting link for everybody:

  68. OK, maybe later, teho 🙂 gotta work now.

    and just teasing you, you know!

  69. Rugby: check! Cute little boy: check! Alpaca: check! Herding pup: check!

    All this picture needs is a kitty (to play ref, of course) and some chocolate (as the halftime snack) to be totally perfect!

    This is seriously one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Alpacas are awesome and that third picture solidfies it. *grin*

    Thanks for sharing!

  70. Me bigtime tech dummy, T. 😦

  71. But it looks like fun to play with! Maybe soon no more dummy.

  72. Marianne says:

    I don’t have any, sadly (yet…) but someone really needs to get more alpacas on this site. Alpacas rule. They’re so damned furry!

  73. elizabeth says:

    Chicky is smiling in the last one! What a good sport.

  74. Hey…I saw this earlier today on some News channel while I was eating lunch at the Pizza Place down the street. It was pretty cute!

  75. My dog Snuffy is the best soccer goalie in the neighborhood. He would love to play with Chicky. Or anyone else for that matter.

  76. TwoShedsJackson says:

    Ahhh – donk – falls over at sheer cute Aussieness.
    So is it rugby they’re playing or Aussie-rules football? If it’s Aussie rules they’d probably let the alpaca in the team just to confuse the foriegners even more about what the hell’s going on. Ah I love Aus – I want to go there now and cuddle a wombat. BTW this is a great thread – my sides ache:D

  77. so adorable. that kid got owned.

  78. for anyone who’s still around on this thread:

    even got the pig in on the action 😉

  79. I love it!

  80. Quite possibly the cutest pictures ever posted on this site.

  81. It’s most likely to be Aussie Rules rather than rugby. Only Aussie Rules gets called football here.

  82. i’d say aussie rules judging by the football

  83. Good job, Think!

  84. chunkstyle says:

    Color me very impressed, but I think that was photoshopped. No dog would allow such a hat, they like bandanas, right?

    “…well, I *did* find a pic fof one of those “Tinfoil Hatters” out there:,10114,5082805,00.jpg

    Posted by: Theo | Jun 05, 2006 at 11:33 AM”

  85. Caitlin says:

    Haha, wow. I love the knobbly kid-knees vs the floofy alpaca-knees in the first picture!

  86. we’re proud of you, teho. that was an accomplishment.

    and thanks, E.C. & jaypo 🙂

  87. Wikipedia has some interesting info on alpacas, if you are so inclined 🙂

  88. The kid’s ears MUST have been photoshopped.

  89. Um, not sure if y’all are joking or not, but all I did was find the link. No shopping was involved. Look at the URL — it ain’t SquidGrid. It’s from here:,20294,37-5000106-5001029,00.html

  90. wha huh?

    we believe you, Theo.

    Lookit my link! I did it for you:

  91. [snork!]
    …So you did. Veddy nize.

  92. Yay for Thinker! Total cuteness!

  93. …and, for Alice, I should have said, by whom it was inspired.

  94. I clicked on the article and loved the part about the other kids being jealous of Rory’s training partners: “They think it’s cheating because I’ve got someone to tackle and they don’t because their dads are working and their mums are having a snooze.”

  95. That llama’s a real hoot!

  96. photo one.
    Sproing + surprised look = cute squared.

  97. how do i get the url for this article? 😀 HALP!!!

  98. I think picture #2 is underrated. I love the Alpaca’s expression.

  99. Michelle says:

    Definitely NOT photoshopped! I saw them all playing together on the news. Nearly died from CO. If it was photoshopped they would’ve fixed the kid’s ears. Harhar.

  100. It’s true! Saw footate, and a friend in Au confirmed there is a cute ALpaca running rampant with Pig, Dog and Boy in tow. 😀

    I personally got a huge kick out of pic #3, that kids expression is priceless.

    Pic #1 Chicky is all about jumping for joy!! And like Errata said above, pic #2 Chicky’s expression is all about it.

  101. Marie: just click on the “Daily Telegraph” link in the description above the pictures.

  102. Looked like doctored photos to me. Need videos.

  103. Brettley says:

    To those who wondering whether it’s Aussie Rules or Rugby – it’s Aussie Rules.

    The first picture appears Photoshopped, although there’s nothing “fake” about the story as I have seen Chicky on the news twice this week (Channel 9 Melbourne) assisting Rory with his bruising training regime!

    Hopefully a video pops up somewhere because Chicky’s quite a sparing partner – something these photos can’t really show (apart from the third picture!).

  104. Huecifer says:

    None of these pics are photoshopped. It’s called depth of field, and in the case of picture #1, it’s pretty short depth of field, which while looking cool can sometimes looks fake with multiple focus points. Also, the other pics would be outrageously difficult to photoshop. I doubt even the Adobe people/creators could do it.


  106. …RGH!

  107. LOL Michelle – he does have sticky-out ears – I didn’t notice that before!

  108. Time to start smashing ants, methinks.

  109. Allieoops says:

    This young alpacas behavior is actually aberrant and is probably going to cause a problem in another year or two when he weighs 150-200 pounds. He will no longer be cute and will end up in a rescue situation or having to be euthanized!

  110. Where’s the pig and the bird?

  111. >Time to start smashing ants, methinks.

    i concur sir.

  112. Kathy: here (thanks to the magic of Photoshop):

  113. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.

    Whining about photoshopping= LAME.

    why would anyone need to photoshop anything when there’s so much legit cuteness out there? And why do you care, anyway? It’s like, “oh look, this is so cute, the only way I can enjoy this more is by trying to ruin it for everyone!”
    Get. A. Life.

    And while we’re at it…

    “not cute!” posts also = VERY LAME.

    To those people- why are you even here?

    Hooray for rugby-playing alpaca!

  114. The pics do look like they’ve been fed through some photoshop sharpen filters, but that doesn’t make them fake.

    very cute!

  115. Hi everyone,
    While these pictures are undoubtably adorable and really look harmless, as an alpaca owner and breeder for seven years I must tell people that this is considered dangerous behavior in an alpaca. It is cute now while the cria (alpaca baby) is small, but in about 6 months when he outweighs the boy by 40-50 pounds it will no longer be cute- it will be trouble. This male is asserting his dominance in an innapropriate way, not playing football. Alpacas should never be kept alone (only one alpaca, no matter about a pig, or sheep or whatever), they need a herd to learn how to behave appropriately. It is a shame that this is being promoted as “cute and funny” when it is truly not a good thing. Especially for the alpaca, who will probably have to be put down when he is fully grown into his 160 lb and knocks anyone who comes into his territory down- or will end up in a rescue situation when his owners don’t think he is “cute” anymore.
    I hate to be a wet blanket, but it would be totally irresponsible of me as a steward of these animals to be anything else but completely honest.
    I welcome comments and please feel free to email me or visit my website if you have any further questions.

  116. *long-suffering sigh*…

    It’s official, now. The mellow has been harshed.


  117. What kind of person would I be if I glossed over the truth?

    long suffering sigh indeed…

  118. Rachelle — maybe later in life the rowdy ‘paca will have its own enclosure. You don’t know.

    Mark, E, Thinker, Pheral, Huecifer, Ant, Zenman, Chunkstyle, etc. etc. etc… see, here’s my problem. I can’t *stand* the chorus of “OMG OMG PHOTOSHOPPED!” as some folks here know. So I set out to hunt up the original of the original image, and prove beyond all question that there’s been NO tampering here. Except, now that I’ve found it, I don’t know what to do:

  119. Oh. Dear. Theo!!

  120. Diane N says:

    Thanks, Theo. The headache these ‘shopped/not ‘shopped posts have given me was almost completely eradicated by your latest creation. And I think the last little bit of pain actually came from the “this could be trouble” warning, anyway. *sigh* Can’t anything just be cute anymore???

  121. Theo- *applause*

    Rachelle- Thanks, but no thanks. We didn’t want to know. Anyway, neither you nor we have a comprehensive picture of this situation.

  122. It’s not photoshopped. Living in NZ, this little kid actually made the evening news (we don’t have much else going on). They had a whole piece on him and even interviewed him. But I saw with my own eyes video footage of the pair of them together training for aussie rules. very cute.

  123. I’ve seen the video of this kid on TV, it’s great.

  124. xiii.lucky says:

    totally precious! love it X10

  125. Rory Matthews says:

    Hello – this is Rory’s mum.

    There is definitely no photoshopping here guys.

    Yes they really do have a special thing but please note, it is highly unusual and Chicky does have experienced handlers also.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t go buying an alpaca to put in your backyard and expect it to play footy.

    It ain’t gonna happen.

    But we really hope you enjoyed the story!

    PS: Rory really does sound like an old pro-footballer, on camera or off!!

  126. Little Rory didn’t just make the evening news in NZ, but was on national news in the states. Way cute!

    Glad Rory’s mom got to see how much the rest of the world is enjoying her delightful little boy, and their critters.

    I had the great privilege of a similar upbringing (few nearby kids, lots of exotic animals to play with–in my case soccer and baseball) and it can’t be beat.

  127. Just wait ’til that alpaca teaches that brat a lesson for gumming his tail.

    Sorry. Wrong pic. Move along.

  128. Rory and the alpaca have made the evening news a couple of times now, including being shown right through the Channel 9 Melbourne closing credits on Sunday night.

    The photos are definitely real. However, it probably doesn’t help that Chicky looks like some crazed stuffed animal when leaping about.

  129. Gillian says:

    that’d be “rugby-ing” not “football-ing…”

    I also like how his parents bought a whole menagerie of livestock rather than just making poor Rory a sibling. I wish my parents had bought me livestock to play with.

  130. Hi Rory’s Mum!

    Glad you found us. Thanks for weighing in!

  131. photoshop anyone???

  132. Kelly — sure!! I’ve been GIMPing along for years now. Can I take two?

  133. If real, this story is just too cute!

  134. Anyone else think the dog’s teeth look scary in the sproinging pic? Hiding behind the kid like some crazed beast… D:

    And the pics are just a touch oversharpened. Tends to make them look fake.

  135. Im currently doing work experience at the farm, and let me tell you, the last thing that alpaca is gunna do is sqaush the boy… unless he has a bottle of warm milk!!

  136. Hi there,

    just to let you know there’s more pics and video links on Rory & Chicky’s pages at

    Rory’s Mum

  137. Pagan Hayes says:

    This does look cute – but as an alpaca owner I wouldn’t want to see this on my farm. Chickie is going to grow up not knowing proper behaviour towards humans. If Chickie is a boy I’ll give him 1 year before he has ABS (Aberrant Behaviour Syndrome) and he will have to either be given to a zoo, or more likely put down :-(. If she’s a female she will be damn near unapproachable.
    Barging is one of the ways this beautiful herd animal establishes dominance.

    My ‘pacies know that I am a human and respect the borders that we have established….. and they ARE the cutest farm animal, bar none 🙂

  138. I want an alpaca. No scratch that…I want to steal that alpaca. Its so adorable.