The Slaughter House – A Play
DISCLAIMER: This is a piece of fiction. Any resemblance to any bird or animal (living or dead) or to any human (living or dead) is purely coincidental.
The pompous scripture citing Owl proclaims, ‘We are all accountable but let us be fair to the Lamb too who stands before us’.
Owl: ‘Touting Magpie, go ask your boss – the real one, the Eagle – whether he is ready to have the matter sent to the coven first (aside, ‘and mark the Lamb properly this time for sacrifice’).
Touting Magpie feigns surprise: ‘Oh wise Owl I bow and scrape (aside, ‘and always steal’). I am just a touting Magpie; these decisions are not for I – the Eagle is supreme. But please clarify how quickly will the deed be done?’.
Owl: ‘Very quickly and by a senior person this time’ (aside, ‘who doesn’t, like some novice, spill the paint or again make the wrong mark’).
Touting Magpie: ‘Most respected Owl, the Eagle sees your wisdom and submits to it reluctantly’.
While at the Lamb’s home, Mrs. Lamb tells her husband: ‘You are all stupid because you are all men. I’ll go and clear up this whole mess. Go tell the Owl that I need to speak to him’.
Lamb: ‘Mrs. Lamb wants to have a word’.
The Owl is knocked off his perch. He is not a very fast thinker. Looks to the left and then to the right (aside, ‘Help me’); he strives.
Owl: ‘We will think on it’.
The Owl and the chosen companions fly out to the Eagle to get his instructions.
And within moments, they return and reassemble. The Owl presides.
Owl: “Tell Mrs. Lamb, she may submit in writing what she has to say’ (aside, ‘I’ll shred her paper and the touting Magpie and his minions will never know what she wrote.’
Lamb suspects a plot, he says: ‘Not acceptable, either accept Mrs. Lamb’s message or don’t but you can’t change it’.
They all retire.
The chosen companions meet and ponder. They say: ‘The Eagle will not like this, this was not part of his plan’.
When the Eagle hears what happened he is furious. He draws out his claws and the chosen companions whimper.
Eagle: ‘Must I do everything? If you decline her right of audience, they will smell a rat. It is essential that justice is only seen to be done. Mrs. Lamb is far too clever for her fleece. She has trapped us. You will have to agree to her request. Let her shout and complain but don’t let her attack me and do not give her time to prepare, to collect documents and get them in order. Give her audience immediately!’
The chosen companions depart, Eagle shouts after them: ‘If you don’t get it right this time, you’ll be my chosen pickings.’
Mrs. Lamb is determined and wants to make the most of the audience allowed to her. She quickly puts together all the documents; one at a time she shows them. The game is over, her husband is in the clear. The Owl starts to panic and stutters: ‘Yes, yes, but, but…’.
They all retire.
The chosen companions huddle on the Owl’s perch.
Owl: ‘The Eagle will have my head for dinner and yours for breakfast. We must now act quickly. We have no time to waste. Take out that paper written out by the Eagle, add a few words to it and let those suicidal birds, who are not scared of the Eagle, scribble whatever they want to. It won’t matter and voila, “justice is only seen to be done”. Let us proceed to congregate on this holy day and display our unflinching loyalty to the Eagle’.
The Owl cites scripture and reads out the Lamb’s fate. No one quite understands – did the Lamb win or lose?
The Lamb is furious; he frets, he fumes and says, ‘Where is my slingshot, I’ll show them! And I’ll pierce the Eagle’s black heart’.
Mrs. Lamb advises caution: ‘Let’s not do something brash, let us ponder, let us plan.’
Mrs. Lamb is practical, as always, and tells her husband: ‘How long must we eat this dry stubble. Let us move on to a place with succulents and live out our remaining lives in comfort and joy’.