Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Sheepish Tale

Over dinner, I casually brought up the upcoming sheep and wool festival. "An agricultural fair," I said to my husband. "Handicrafts, that sort of thing. Interested in going?" It was a tossup really. He doesn't have my enduring interest in fiber, but he does generally approve of handcrafting and local agriculture.

He didn't seem impressed.

"Lamb kabobs?" I offered, knowing that festival food is a good lure for this kind of thing. And they were mentioned on the website.

He gave me an utterly horrified look. "Lamb kabobs?!"

I was rather puzzled. "You like lamb."

"Do you mean to tell me, that you have this happy fibery woolly festival going on, and they're serving lamb kabobs?"

I blinked. I hadn't really thought about it in those terms, but, "Yes."

"What, do they have the Woolly Lamb Petting Zoo, with the Children's Abattoir in the corner?" he asked.

"I feel sure they separate the whole slaughtering operation from the gambolling lamb section," I told him.

"I couldn't eat a lamb kabob, with real live woolly lambs wandering around," my normally carnivorous guy said.

At that point I was pretty sure he wasn't going to go for it. "They probably have hot dogs, too."

He shook his head. "I can't believe you would eat lamb- and then go back to looking at the festival."

"But you like lamb," I couldn't help repeating.

"Yes, but I'd be happier if it was called something different," he said. "Not like a-" his hands waved descriptively in a sort of lamblike outline.

"Like beef doesn't sound like cow?" I suggested.

"Exactly!" he nodded. "Or mutton." The thought clearly diverted him somewhat. "I keep thinking we should try mutton when we're in England. It's such a quintessentially English dish."

I shook my head. "So you would eat a grown-up sheep, but not lambs if you could see them- what, you don't want to eat them because they're cute?"

"Well," he said. "Yes, basically."


I think my husband's still a little disturbed about me being willing to contemplate kabobs at the festival. But I'm not an irredeemably bad person. I haven't said a word about his fluffy sheepskin slippers.

In the end, I didn't go to the festival. Couldn't justify driving up by myself with the price of gas so high, or the time when there are many other things I needed to do at home.


  1. Ha! Ha! Ha! OK, I grew up on a cattle ranch & we raised chickens for food as well as for the eggs, so I'm not very squeamish on this front, but it does seem a bit odd to serve lamb at a sheep & wool festival. Americans do NOT like to think about where their food (or shoes or handbags) comes from...:)

  2. Toni, the funny thing about it is we both grew up in rural and semi-rural areas. We do know where meat comes from. I had just underestimated how hard he works at not thinking about it.

    And actually, my very limited experience with chickens suggests that being personally aquainted with them would make them easier to eat, not harder...

  3. How funny. Was that the Dixon Mayfair you were hoping to attend? If so, you may be closer to me than I me so we can compare notes.