Saving the garden

David Hutt


Dr Siri is approaching the end of his tenure. It’s three years after the communist revolution in Laos, and the country’s chief coroner is bored and repeatedly puts in requests for retirement. But the coroner’s superior informs him that: “A good communist does not let go of the plough halfway across the paddy and leave the buffalo to find its own direction. He eats with her, tends to her injuries, and sleeps with her until the job is done.” Unmoved by such stirring appeals for sacrifice, the coroner nevertheless resists the temptation “to spread the word that the Party was advocating bestiality.”

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