Tag Archives: woodshed

1993. Body in the woodshed

When Dawn saw the dead body in her woodshed she didn’t know what to do next. Clearly the body had died several hours earlier. Rigor mortis had already begun to set in. Dawn had once worked as a nurse so she knew these things. Trying to revive the body was a waste of time. It was as dead as the wood in her woodshed.

Dawn was a practical woman to the hilt. She remained absolutely calm. She surveyed the situation as if she was in a fabric shop selecting a pattern for a proposed table runner. What to do with the body? She shut the woodshed door and went back into the house.

It wasn’t winter. It wasn’t cold. There would be no need for her to get firewood for a couple of months. She had bought an air ticket for her husband to go to Hawaii on a vacation for several months. They did that in their marriage once every decade or so. It cleared the air and they could start afresh. He had left yesterday, so the story would go. Dawn would simply leave the body in the woodshed until winter.

That way the coroner would have difficulty determining the cause of death of her husband. “But I thought he was having a great time in Hawaii.”

1875. The old woodshed

My late husband made this woodshed many, many years ago. It was very handy, not just for the wood, but I used to pot my house plants in there as well. My husband was very patient; he didn’t mind if I made a mess with the potting mix.

Of course the woodshed has other memories too. It was where my nephew Bartholomew accidentally injured his hand while cutting up kindling to start a fire. And it was where Virgil, a ward of the State we were looking after for the summer, set fire to a pile of old newspapers and just about burnt the whole place down. Thank goodness almost everything was made of corrugated iron. And then there was the time we caught a rat in the rat trap cage and Rocky – that was my husband – was away at a work weekend and I was too scared to go near the rat cage because of the rat. So the poor thing had to stay in the cage for several days. I kept throwing a jug of water on the cage thinking if it got thirsty it could lick the droplets off the cage wire.

So now, years later, I’ve had the shed bulldozed over. It wasn’t a bulldozer; it was a big tractor with huge fork-prong things in the front. The workmen were busy on the road that goes past my house, so I went out and put my hand up in the air for the tractor to stop when I saw it coming. I said, “Look, I’m an eighty-five year old widow and I have this woodshed that I don’t use anymore because I have a heat pump, and it’s starting to get dangerous. Every time there’s a gale I think it’s going to blow over into the house. I was wondering if you could drive the tractor onto my property and push the shed over.”

He said, “Of course lady. That’s no trouble and will only take a minute. The boss doesn’t need to know.”

So he drove the tractor into the wood shed and pushed it over like it was a pile of dead leaves. I was very grateful, and then he drove off.

I was wondering; what is an eighty-five year old widow meant to do with a huge amount of corrugated iron? It’s lying all over the place and the next wind it’s going to kick up bobsy-dye.