A mother walks into a hospital with her teenage girl.
"My daughter would like to donate her right arm to any patient who needs it."
My Right Arm
would she want to do that?" the nurse asks.
"Well it's just not convenient for her to have two arms."
"Oh! Ok - I'll
find a doctor who can amputate the arm and then we'll find a patient who it might fit."
"Of course you can never get a
"I don't really want to give my right arm to someone else," says the girl.
"Oh don't be so selfish,"
says the mother.
"And don't you worry about it," says the nurse. "It'll grow back!"
The trade in human spare parts
is a crime against humanity.
The trade in `spare'
Meanwhile every relinquishing mother
would give her right arm
to have her child back...
The Great Wall.
By Rohan McEnor
You are sitting in a helicopter which is on the ground, next to the Great Wall of China.
As you look through the helicopter window all around you for miles are joyous families picnicking
on this beautiful, warm day. Here it is perpetual summer. The Wall itself stops any cold breeze coming through. The scenery
is perfect. The edifice of this man-made structure is incomparably inspiring as it stretches north to the horizon and south
beyond ridges and valleys, into rainbow wrapped mists.
Surely this is heaven itself.
Your helicopter whirrs into life and it wriggles into flight. Happy parents and children
pause momentarily from their chicken and avocado sandwiches or their games of skip-rope and totem tennis, to wave you off
as your craft continues skyward.
As you rise the broadening scene becomes even more perfect by sight, yet sounds begin to
A wailing, haunting sound in the distance, easily audible over the engine noise, seems ill-fitted
to the utopian vision laid out on lush carpet below.
As you reach the top of the Great Wall, you see happy smiling guards, all female, not armed
with guns but two metre long fountain pens, greeting the happy throng below.
Occasionally, a family will venture to the base of the Wall and a friendly guard will trigger
their pen to dispense a soothing nectar into the gaping mouths of the family below.
The honeydew is hungrily devoured and the family then race back to play, praising the guards
and waving to them in adoration.
However, the wailing noise grows louder. What is it and from whence does it come?
Finally the helicopter hovers slightly above the wall, where the backs of the guards facing
westward can be seen as they too dispense from their giant pens.
The helicopter flies higher, the wailing grows louder until the scene on the western side
of the wall starts to come into view.
It is far from the pleasurable place that one would have imagined when this flight began.
Here the sun never shines. The Great Wall casts nothing but shadow and creates a barrier where the bitter wind sweeps straight
off the blizzard harried mountains, and bounces into the faces of the inhabitants.
Light is minimal and every person who lives here is clothed in black. Sooty hoods cloak tortured
faces. This is the place of wailing and nashing of teeth.
The land is barren and limited. A cliff face hems the masses in. More than occasionally an
inhabitant throws herself off the cliff face, mostly out of sheer exhaustion from trying to hold any place in the throng.
Some make a deliberate trek to the cliff for the suicidal plunge. Others stagger in the darkness
not knowing their next step will send them plummetting. Some are pushed by the crowd. Others by infiltrating guards.
The helicopter swings around to face the Great Wall, where you can now see that the guards'
dispensation of pen-liquid appears like acid on the clothes and flesh of those below.
The acid eats straight through cloaks, into flesh and burns without killing. The elixir of
death can only be found at the cliff.
A wave of unfortunates surges away from the wall as another squirt of acid comes, sending
a corresponding spillage of victims over the cliff.
And with this the mass almost as one screams, "Enough!"
Like swarming black angry ants they start to climb the Great Wall, desperate for the other
side. The figureheads writhe in agony as each drop of acid dissolves their flesh, but despite their travail, they continue
Others in the distance storm the Great Wall with whatever weapon they can carry.
Some with pick-axes, some with pocket-knives, but all have something that can eke away at
the Wall in some small way, while those climbing take the acid-sting.
The helicopter swings now to hover above the battlements and you see for the first time,
the process by which the hapless residents of the darkness are selected.
From the far off mist at one end of the Wall, a girl emerges, enormously pregnant, in labour,
but dragged like a dog to be put down by the guards as she struggles.
They unceremoniously straddle her legs across an eastbound playground helter-skelter slide,
and there she delivers her baby into the mist, which curtains the ground from her view, but more importantly, obscures her
from the view of the easterners.
The former mother is then tossed by the hair over the western side of the wall, where, if
she survives the fall, she must scavenge clothing from the dead before she is utterly eaten away by the projected acid.
You watch her stagger away from the Wall as the guards threaten more acid-treatment. They
sneer at her and tell her to just get over it - this is her lot. It is God's will for her.
Unable to comprehend the sight, you land your helicopter back on utopian ground and you realise
this Wall has a name: Adoption.
You see the gleeful face of a mother calling to her friends that her baby has arrived!
And she energetically shows it to her adoring husband and relatives. They never ask her where
her baby came from. Or how it was delivered. She has no knowledge of the love by which it was conceived. Or the terror by
which it was stolen.
The people in Utopia live blissfully unaware of what happens atop the Wall.
But they are beginning to hear the sounds of the riot from the western side.
One by one, the friendly guards are disappearing from their eastern watch, taking the balming
lies of their pens with them.
There is hammering.
Bricks in the Wall are coming lose, but no-one in Utopia wants to prise them out and look
through to the other side.
But those bricks will fall. One by one. The battlements will teeter. There will be a Jericho.
And the words of the wailing ghosts will become clearly audible to these once happy families:
Where is my child,
Why is the pain,
After all this time,
The question is still
Child of the sunlight,
Parents of the rain,
Bring me the child I've come to claim.
Copyright © Origins Inc, 1995