The slaying of the Dragon

For hundreds of years The Great Wall has stretched sprawled out across the Northwest of China, across deserts, mountains, forests and some of the harshest terrain known to man. Like a giant dragon it has lain as a protector and deterrent to the ferocious foes of the Chinese, the Mongol hoards and the nomadic tribes living in the plains of the Northwest. Constructed over a few centuries, and involving nearly one third of the Chinese population.

Tended to by millions of soldiers over the years, slaving like worker ants over their queen, this wall was maintained, manned and extended all in the endeavour to keep the Chinese population safe, and as well as this in my opinion a more sinister ploy by the dynasties, to keep the population busy and united against a so called common enemy, the marauding Mongolian hoards.

As I traveled along the sleeping dragon, from its tail hanging in the waters of the great white river in the Gobi desert and headed east, the sad realisation began to sink in, how this majestically mythical beast was systematically being slain. As water is being made available in the desolate Gansu province from massive pumping projects along the yellow river (which now stops short of the sea for some 150 days of the year), as well as farms being set up along the wall. The wall is now seen as a hindrance to the farms as it blocks expansion. Massive chunks and sections are bulldozed away so that the farms can be extended to both sides of the wall. It looks like packs of wild dogs are eating away at the flesh of the dragon as it lies helplessly unable to defend itself. The sandstorms are whipped up, pelting away at the beasts attacking the Dragon, trying to cover the exposed flesh, protecting is, but to no avail against the relentless onslaught.

The Saanxi province, an endless landscape of rolling hill, bears the deep scars of the next round of attacks on the dragon, thousands upon thousands of goats overgrazing the baron lands stripping it of every last stalk of vegetation.

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