November 25, 2010

Lamb to the Slaughter

My task in today's Swedish class was a close reading of the Swedish translation of Roald Dahl's darkly comedic short story 'Lamb to the Slaughter' (1953), known in Swedish as 'Mysteriet med det Försvunna Mordvapnet' (The Mystery of the Vanished Murder Weapon).

The tale concerns a wife who bludgeons her policeman husband to death with a frozen leg of lamb, puts the lamb in the oven, establishes an alibi going to the grocery store to buy vegetables to accompany her roast, and proceeds to serve the murder weapon to the investigating officers.

After a fruitless search, the policemen bandy about possible locations of the murder weapon, while waiting to be served their dinner.

"It's probably right under our very noses."

Lamb to the Slaughter was adapted for television twice, first in 1958 as part of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, directed by the master of suspense himself, and starring Barbara Bel Geddes (Midge in Vertigo).

Another adaptation was included in Tales of the Unexpected, in 1979. Tales of the Unexpected was a collection of tales based on the short stories of Roald Dahl.