Y’all. Can I just give it to you real straight for a moment? Your boy, my husband, Pastor Marshall Grant Jr. has officially gone to far. He has taken the You Name it Challenge to un-required levels. Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, RAMS, hog maws…You Naaaame It!
However, instead of a ram, he has chosen to behead and bleed an ewe for Christmas dinner. Why not a ram?
“The meat’s too tough,” he claims.
Ahhh. I see.
Now, I understand we are in Africa and that our location can sometimes inspire a desire to live an “authentic African” life, but dag. We live in Plettenberg Bay where the grocery store is well-stocked and within walking distance if you’re looking to get your 30 minutes of activity in. There is no good reason on God’s South African earth why we need to be killing an animal in someone’s back yard.
Oh? You thought this massacre was going to take place in MY adobe? No indeed! The poor creature will meet its demise at our housekeeper’s home, who made the not so subtle suggestion last week that we go in half on a lamb.
“I want sheep for Christmas,” she said. “Don’t you want to buy half with me?”
Mr. Lamb Slain From the Foundations of the Earth eagerly agreed with the prospect, and now here we are – just 3 hours away from the appointed time of the slaughter.
Some of our provincial readers – as in y’all folks from the country – are reading this and thinking to yourself, “Well, this is no big deal. We kill animals in our back yard all the time!” You might be wondering what I’M freaking out about, me being a born and bred African myself who has surely witnessed dozens of animals destined for the butcher’s knife. And you’re right: I have.
What I wasn’t prepared for was my children’s reaction to this venture. For the most part, they reacted to the news that Daddy was setting off with uncle Dial to prepare a sheep for Christmas with curiosity. They wanted to know whether the sheep was white, what kind of sound it make, did it live on a farm… However one of my children asked me a series of questions and made a series of statements that I found difficult to grapple with, given the situation.
“Can I go watch them kill it?”
I hesitated before saying, “Ummm… I don’t know. It’s not a pretty sight.”
“I just want to see its guts when they cut it open.”
“Mmmhmmm. I think it will be cool. Miss Maynee says that she’s going to cut the head off and give it to her neighbors because they eat the head. And then she’s going to use the blood to water her plants.”
Yehowah! Why was this child repeating all these details with a smile?!? Why were they so eager to witness a mammal meet its demise in what could possibly be a gruesome affair if the blade is dull or the butcher hesitates? And why, oh why God did she have her camera with her?
Now, if you’re acquainted with my children, you probably think you know who the child with the blood lust in question is. I can assure you you’re wrong.
Aya that sat at the table with a broad smile about her lips and eyes that flashed in anticipation of this poor sheep’s decapitation. Nadjah, on the other hand, shed a single Denzel-esque ear as the details were made plain about how the butchery would go.
“After the head is cut off, they’ll turn the sheep upside down to drain the rest of the blood, then take a hacksaw and cut the rib cage in two, then….”
Nadjah, the one who is built of fire and dry ice implodes. She declares the whole venture a murderous sham and has vowed to go vegan thereafter. She then haughtily walks to the fridge and prepares to make a sandwich.
“You can’t eat that,” Marshall said with a mischievous smile.
Nadjah was incredulous. “Why not??? It’s cheese!”
“Vegan means you can’t eat any animal flesh or by products. Cheese comes from milk. Milk comes from cows. Put the cheese back.”
There was some mumbling about never giving up cheese under any circumstances and a flip of her braids before she disappeared back up the stairs to her art studio.
* Three hours later *
They just walked in the house. Aya sounds jubilant. Like she just returned from a girls’ weekend at an amusement park.
“It wasn’t creepy at all! And I have pictures! Oh stop it, Nadjah. It’s just food.”
Let me go look at these pictures of this beheaded and skinned ruminant and pretend like it’s all good.
Merry Christmas from the Grants to you and yours!