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ISBN 978-957-33-2353-2



~ 松露玫瑰 ~

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  1.   Abela sat on the edge of the bed and watched the bewildering bustle of the ward. So many people. So much noise. She saw a boy of her own age come weaving in and out of the lines of beds with a live hen clutched in his hands. He was trying to catch the attention of one of the white-crowned nurses, but she seemed to ignore him. The hen clucked and squawked in shrill indignation, pecking the boy's fingers. At last the nurse turned around. Her eyes were nearly shut with weariness. The boy thrust the hen toward her.

      "Please can I buy medicine for my father?"

      The nurse shook her head. "You'd do better to take your kuku outside and cook it. Make a nice tasty stew for your baba instead."

      "Please," the boy begged. "Mama said we haven't any money for medicine."

      "I said no." The nurse walked on past him. "Take your hen away."

      Abela remembered the money that the woman from the bus had given her. She ran after the nurse and tugged her arm. "I've got money," she said. "Some medicine for my mama and some for his baba. Real money."

      She held out her hand. The coins were hot and wet in her palm, she'd been clutching them so tightly.

      The nurse clicked her tongue impatiently. "Money or hens, mangoes or bicycles, they're no use, child. Nothing is, anymore. We haven't got any medicine left. We ran out of them two weeks ago."

      Abela stared at her, unbelieving. They had come all this way for help. Surely there was something her mother could be given to ease her? The medicine man in the village would have found something for her, a weed or an herb, a colored potato, the juice of crushed insects; anything rather than send her away with nothing.

      "Can I pay for a doctor to see her?"

      "No doctors here," the nurse said. "They've all moved on, or died. Your money is useless, little one, wherever you got it from. You can't even eat it. The only thing you can buy here is coffins." She squatted down, moved at last by pity the desperate child. "Go home. Take your mama home. That's the best. There's nothing we can do for her."


    The Girl Who Saw Lions, P44~46
    Berlie Dorherty
    ISBN 978-1-59643-377-9

  2.   I don't know why God did this to me. He has taken nearly everything that belongs to me, and I am so afraid because I don't know where it will stop. Perhaps my grandmother will be next, but she says no, she is too old to die of this sickness, she will die of something else.

      "And me?" I hardly dared to ask such a question. Fright was fluttering in my throat like a butterfly.

      Grandmother Bibi shook her head. "Your mama and Baba were not ill when you were born; there were healthy and strong. But by the time they were waiting for Nyota to be born, they were already very sick themselves. So the baby had no chance."

      "No chance?"

      "No. That baby had no chance to live."

      I stared into pile of chippings that my grandmother had made. I have heard of a baby who was born with no sight. I have even heard of a baby born with no arms. But I have never heard of a baby born with no chance. And this was a new thing for me to think about; to live or to die, to be sick or healthy was all a matter of chance? Could this be true?

    The Girl Who Saw Lions, P61~62
    Berlie Dorherty
    ISBN 978-1-59643-377-9