Picture it and write: A problem

by joetwo

Hi there. Here is my offering for this weeks picture it and write for Ermilia’s blog here. The picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy!

A problem

“Joseph!” My mother shouted at me “Are you going to eat that, or just stare at it? You’re not leaving the table until you finish it!” I looked at the slices of lamb, coated with gravy, surrounded by vegetables and roasted potatoes and my mind went back, right to the start of the year and a cold, dark night.

Daddy called me and my brother out to the lambing sheds, there was a problem. One of the Ewes had triplets, too many for her to look after, and one of the other Ewes was in difficulty. Dad was very busy trying to help the other birth so he asked me and my brother to help look after the smallest lamb. We wrapped him in straw and blankets and fed him from a bottle that Mam had made up for us. He was really warm and ate greedily. We were fascinated.

Over the weeks and months the little lamb grew bigger and stronger.We had named him Lorcan. He used to follow us everywhere. Tripping us up with his little legs. Dad said that he thought we were his mother. We used to play chasing with him and when it rained he would try and hide under our legs even when he got too big for us! It was always great fun!

Lorcan still got bigger and bigger. Soon enough he was weaned and would start to spend most of his time out in the fields but whenever we would come to the gate he would still come running for us to give him a scratch or a handful of nuts that we stole from the barn.

As the days started to draw in and the leaves turned the cycle of life came around and it was time for the harvest. We helped pull potatoes and herd in the yearlings for the market and of course we helped to round-up the sheep.

I remember the day when the truck from the slaughterhouse came and opened its great doors like a giant maw. We held our arms out at each side to prevent escapes while Dad and Missy the sheepdog drove them up the ramp. I can’t be certain which one was Lorcan but I said my goodbyes none the less to the bleating masses before they were driven out the gate.

The next day a van from Mr Maloney’s the butchers arrived loaded with choice cuts of lamb in ‘partial payment’ for the flock. There was chops, shanks and legs, enough to fill the freezer and keep us fed for months. Mam kept one of the Legs out for the dinner that Sunday.

I was thinking about this and all the rest while I moved the fork over my plate. Shifting the meat and vegetables absent-mindedly. Mam must have had enough and she shouted again. “Joseph! For the last time! Eat your dinner! What could possibly be wrong with it!”

I looked back at her my face filled with emotion and said “Mam! I can’t eat this. I don’t like carrots!”