Please provide a brief summary of the story "Lamb to the Slaughter."

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The story begins with the pregnant Mary Maloney waiting for her husband, a police officer, to arrive home. The way she looks after the house and cares for her husband clearly demonstrates her devotion to him, and this is reinforced by comments that show that Mary Maloney builds her life around her husband. However, when he does finally arrive, she notices that something is wrong. He tells her that he will be leaving her, presumably because of another woman. Shocked, Mary goes to the freezer to get a leg of lamb to cook for dinner. Her husband says that he is going to go out and Mary hits him on the head with the frozen leg of lamb, killing him instantly.

Although she is not worried about her own life, she is worried about the life of her unborn child, and so she carefully plans how to get away with the murder. She puts the lamb in the oven and starts to cook it and then goes to the grocery shop, planning her alibi. When she returns from the grocery store, having kept everything "natural," she "finds" her husband's body lying on the floor and calls the police in a shocked state, telling them that Patrick was murdered whilst she was out. Once the police arrive, who all know her of course, they start looking for the murder weapon, which to them always leads to the conviction of the murder. Mary asks them to eat the meal she had cooked for Patrick for her and the story ends as she listens to them eating the murder weapon that they are looking for, knowing she has escaped being linked to the crime.

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