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  • Lamb Leg

The Leg of Lamb: A modern day parable

A few years ago I came across this parable and it's had me questioning things ever since:

Like most little girls, this little girl liked standing at her mother's side and asking questions about what she was doing. It is how little girls like to learn, they watch and ask. One day her mother was making a roast leg of lamb. Now lamb is very expensive these days, but back then it wasn’t so bad, in fact you could buy a whole SIDE of lamb for the cost of what we pay today for a leg, but that is not part of the story.

The mother took the trusty baking dish from the cupboard. You know the one, its been used for years, every Sunday it is in the hot hot oven, cooking some kind of delicious meat. The mother put the dish on the counter, then took the leg of lamb and put it on the wooden chopping board. With a big knife she cut off just over an inch, but less than two inches. Before she could stab the meat and put peeled garlic cloves in the muscle then smear the skin and cut with French mustard her daughter piped up.

"Mummy" she said why do you cut off the end of the leg of lamb?

Her mother pondered the question.

"I am not sure. My mummy (your grandmother) always did. Why don't you ring her up and ask her why"

So while her mother peeled the potatoes and stringed the beans the little girl called up her Grandmother.

"Granny, why did you cut the end off the leg of lamb?"

Her Grandmother laughed and said,

"You know, my mother always did it so i did, let's ring Great Great Aunty Dora, she will know why" (Great Granny died a looong time ago)

The Grandmother rang Great Great Aunty Dora and conferenced in the little girl. Granny is pretty technologically hip don't you think?

"Dora" Granny said "Can you remember why my mother used to cut the ends off her legs of lamb?"

Great great Aunty Dora might be old but she is sharp as a tack and replied without a moment to even search through those long long years of memories.

"Of course I do. When your mother married I gave her a baking dish as a wedding present. Thing is, I was not much of a cook myself and the dish was not really long enough for a leg of lamb. I wasn't to know back in those days. Your mother would cut the end off the lamb so it would fit into her little baking dish"

With many things changing in my life right now, I thought it was a good time to share while questioning why things are done the way they are done.

I hope you enjoyed it.