Risin’ up, back on the street,
Conswala did her time, took her chances.
She went the distance, now she’s back on her feet,
Just a llama and her will to survive — the Cadbury Bunny tryouts.
When Conswala — a “no-drama llama” from Pennsylvania — lost her bid to become the Cadbury Bunny last year to Henri, a bulldog from North Carolina, she didn’t let defeat turn her into an Easter basket case.
Instead, Conswala stuck her neck out and resurrected her Easter campaign again this year.
And this time, she’s got a fancy bonnet.
“She wants everybody to know that if at first you don’t reach your goals, you work harder to become better and try, try again,” said Conswala’s human, Kris Benner, 52, of York Springs.
Conswala is one of 10 pet finalists in the running to be the next Cadbury Bunny. The winner will be decided by online voting that runs through March 18 on Cadbury’s website. The sweet title comes with $5,000 and the chance to be in a reboot of Cadbury’s classic Easter Bunny commercial, which dates back more than three decades.
Competition this year is as stiff as a box of stale Peeps. Among Conswala’s challengers are Lunchbox, a 24-pound shelter cat from Oklahoma; Lieutenant Dan, a disabled dog from Ohio; Dilly Bar Dabbler, a “diva duck” from Missouri; and Ricky Bobby, the mini horse from Florida.
But Conswala is running an eggcelent grass-roots campaign, getting out the word on social media and creating memes with Baby Yoda on Facebook.
Conswala lives at Lucky Us Farm in Adams County with Benner and Benner’s husband, Kevin, who purchased the farm — which came with eight alpacas and a llama — in 2017.
For her 50th birthday present, Kevin let his wife pick out another llama, and that llama was Conswala. The couple now have 11 alpacas and seven llamas.
While Conswala was shy at first, she quickly warmed to Kris and became her best friend.
“I taught her how to give kisses on command and how to allow hugs,” Benner said.
The Benners entered Conswala in the Cadbury contest last year “on a whim” and were shocked at how much publicity she got. Being a “no-drama llama,” Conswala wasn’t prepared for the spotlight, Benner said.
“She accepted her defeat graciously, but last year’s run helped us to realize how much joy Conswala (and all llamas) can bring to people,” Benner said.
So Benner began taking Conswala to schools, homes, and senior centers to “spread the llama love." In October, Conswala was officially registered as a therapy llama. She’s even helped console mourners in a funeral receiving line and threw out the first pitch at a Harrisburg Senators baseball game. (“She was wearing a backpack," Benner said. "The pitcher put the ball in her backpack at the pitcher’s mound. And then I walked her to the catcher and he took it out of the backpack.”)
Aside from being no drama, Benner said, Conswala is a “super cool llama” who is quirky, playful, whimsical, and has a “special twinkle in her eye.” Her favorite singer is Shakira, most likely because Conswala’s hips also don’t lie.
“She’s a bit of a ham, but is still a farm girl at heart, and is the happiest hanging out with her llama gal pals in the field searching for the sweetest grass,” Benner said.