From the author: Good intentions don't always work out.
Did you say the story starts with a side of lamb?
No, it starts on the side of a road.
Yeah – I’d stopped. Road kill. I saw a sheep on the side of the road. Someone must have hit it. A lamb, actually. So I stopped. As you do. I thought it might just be stunned, but I soon saw it wasn’t breathing. I touched it and it was still warm. And it had some sort of yellow pigment on it. On the wool.
That’s to show who owned it.
How’s that? You must be joking.
Farmers paint their sheep with their colours, on the back near the tail. So they know which sheep belongs to who. You say it was yellow?
Pale, lemon sort of yellow. At first I thought the wool was stained. But you’re right, it must’ve been dyed. And you know what? It had a ribbon round its neck. Anyhow, because it was road kill, still fresh, I thought, shouldn’t waste it. I put it in the boot. Took it home. That’s how I got the side of lamb. Two sides, actually. I took one over to my Aunty’s. She’s a bit hard up. Gave her the head, too. You should have seen her smile. And I stuck my side in the fridge. But first, I cut off a leg. Don’t worry, I put on an apron – didn’t want any stray splash to get on the clothes. I tell you, it was a bastard getting the wool off. Those shearers certainly earn their dosh.
What were you going to do?
Cook it. Sunday dinner for Barb. I peeled some potatoes, put some garlic and rosemary and some salt on the leg, and whacked the lot in the oven with some carrots and onions and pumpkin. The Aussie icon – Sunday roast. How can you stuff that up?
Shouldn’t you have cooked the lamb first? Before putting in the veggies? I mean, half cooked it, to get it really tender by the end.
Eh? Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, the carrots were pretty shriveled. So was the pumpkin. Still tasted okay, though. I’ll do that with the next one, wait and put in the veggies after an hour or so.
And then what?
Well, Barb got home. She’d been out with her girlfriends. I thought she’d be real pleased. A surprise dinner. I’d never cooked a roast before. But, would you believe it? When she saw what I’d done, was her face black. I asked her what was up. Said she didn’t want to eat lamb. Reckoned she was a bloody vegetarian.
Yeah. Since when, I asked her.
Since today, she said.
Today? Why, what happened?
One of my friends, she said, Marge. Marge’s upset. You know Marge, don’t you?
Yeah. Got a farm, hasn’t she? Married to Ted.
Yeah, that’s the one. You know, I said Barb’s face was black. Now it was white. Well, she said that Marge was upset. Real upset. Seems her pet lamb got out of the yard, got hit by a car.