Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side of the Fence?


Mama Llama can’t help but think that thankfulness is not a characteristic of barnyard animals. In most cases, animals don’t like to share their food, and they’re prone to believe that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. This is true of llamas in two ways.


First, llamas are sure that the other members of their pack are eating tastier morsels than the food that has been put in front of them. So instead of enjoying their food and being thankful that they no longer have to forage for it, they engage in what Mama Llama calls The GAG Dance (Grass is Greener Dance). It goes like this:


The most dominant llama will gently bump a less dominant llama from his feeder. The bumped llama will then pester another llama to move away from his feeder. And so it goes until every llama has eaten from every feeder. At the end of the dance, each llama seems satisfied that he has found “the greener grass,” even though the feeder contents are identical!


Second, llamas are sure that the blades of grass outside their fence line are greener–thus juicier and tastier–than the blades inside the fence line. But plenty of barnyard zoo animals think the grass is greener out there, not just llamas. Take a look!

Llamas and their herbivore friends have a good reason for wanting what’s just out of reach. It turns out that the grass does appear to be greener on the other side of the fence! Here’s why: If you look straight down at grass, brown spots and patches are quite visible. But if you look across a field of grass, essentially at an angle, you will notice that the color green is much more dominant.

But what was gained by craning the neck and contorting the body? Better grass? No. That’s because the grass is not really greener on the other side; it’s just an optical illusion.


Barnyard animals serve as a good reminder that straining for something we don’t have looks awkward, can be futile and often doesn’t make us any happier if we get it. Food for thought!


Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving from Mama Llama and her pack of greedy critters.



Happy Trails from Mama Llama!

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