The Origin of Children
“From my own youth, I remember a fantasy concerning the origin of children: after I learned how children are made, I still had no precise idea on insemination, so I thought one has to make love every day for the whole nine months: in woman’s belly, the child is gradually formed through sperm - each ejaculation is like adding an additional brick…”
“The Aka, are … convinced that semen is a nutritive substance that enhances fetal development and leads to healthy babies.
The concept of “seminal nurture”—that semen is a kind of milk for developing embryos—is found in many other cultures across the world as well, most notably in South America.”
The hook caught on a rock, and the rope broke, causing the Hodja to fall onto his back. Lying there he saw the moon in the heaven and cried out, “Praise and honor Allah! I injured myself, but at least the moon is back where it belongs. Nasreddin Hodja Rescues the Moon (Folktales)
Ken Saro-Wiwa’s “Robert and the Dog” conveys the poverty of the mass of Nigerians by the powerful device of Bingo, the dog of Robert’s European wife:
Try as hard as he could, he could not dismiss from his mind the fact that the dog was doing better than himself. And he detested this state of affairs. He could understand a dog being invited to eat up an infant’s faeces. He could understand a stray, mangy dog with flies around its ears being beaten and chased away from the dwellings of men. He could understand a dog wandering around rubbish heaps in search of sustenance. But a dog who slept on the settee, a dog who was fed tinned food on a plate, a dog who was brushed and cleaned, a dog who drank good tinned milk, was entirely beyond his comprehension. On one occasion, the lady took the dog to a doctor. And that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
All that day, Robert felt his stomach turn. And when he got home in the evening and saw his children with distended stomachs gambolling in the filth which simmered in a swollen stream at his door, and watched them hungrily swallow small balls of “eba,” he asked himself, “Who born dog?” And all of a sudden he developed a pathological hatred for Bingo the dog, his master’s dog. All night long, he saw in the eye of his mind, the dog cuddled in the warmth of the settee which he would have to clean and brush in the morning. And he asked himself again and again “Who born dog?” Source
STORY OF HATIM TAI
Hatim Tai possessed a horse whose fleetness was as that of the morning breeze. Of this was the Sultan of Turkey informed.
“Like Hatim Tai,” he was told, “none is equal in generosity; like his horse, nothing is equal in speed and gait. As a ship in the sea it traverses the desert, while the eagle, exhausted, lags behind.”
“From Hatim will I request that horse,” the king replied. “If he be generous and give it to me, then shall I know that his fame is true; if not, that it is but the sound of a hollow drum.”
So he despatched a messenger with ten followers to Hatim. They alighted at the house of the Arab chief, who prepared a feast and killed a horse 17 in their honour.
On the following day, when the messenger explained the object of his mission, Hatim became as one mad with grief. “Why,” he cried, “didst thou not give me before thy message? That swift-paced horse did I roast last night for thee to eat. No other means had I to entertain thee; that horse alone stood by my tent, and I would not that my guests should sleep fasting.”
To the men he gave money and splendid robes, and when the news of his generosity reached to Turkey, the king showered a thousand praises upon his nature. Source
Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished
Who raised it up so many times? In what houses
of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?
Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished
Did the masons go? Great Rome
Is full of triumphal arches. Who erected them? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Had Byzantium, much praised in song
Only palaces for its inhabitants? Even in fabled Atlantis
The night the ocean engulfed it
The drowning still bawled for their slaves.
The young Alexander conquered India.
Was he alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Did he not have even a cook with him?
Philip of Spain wept when his armada
Went down. Was he the only one to weep?
Frederick the Second won the Seven Year’s War. Who
Else won it?
Every page a victory.
Who cooked the feast for the victors?
Every ten years a great man?
Who paid the bill?
So many reports.
So many questions. Questions From a Worker Who Reads by Bertolt Brecht