Outside the Law Faculty, a hugely shiny glass building which reflects the light as a sort of dazzling metaphor for the glittering brains at work within it, grows a curious tree.
Small and squat, it fruits in September with a fruit reminiscent of Renaissance scare-mongering about wandering wombs.
In women, in the hollow of the body below the ribcage, lies the womb. It is very much like an independent animal within the body for it moves around of its own accord and is quite erratic. Furthermore, it likes fragrant smells and moves toward them, but it dislikes foul odors and moves away from them… When it suddenly moves upward [i.e., toward a fragrant smell] and remains there for a long time and presses on the intestines, the woman chokes, in the manner of an epileptic, but without any spasms. For the liver, the diaphragm, lungs and heart are suddenly confined in a narrow space. And therefore the woman seems unable to speak or to breathe. In addition, the carotid arteries, acting in sympathy with the heart, compress, and therefore heaviness of the head, loss of sense perception, and deep sleep occur… Disorders caused by the uterus are remedied by foul smells, and also by pleasant fragrances applied to the vagina…
–Medical Writings 2.11.1-3
Aretaeus of Cappodocia
Or, slightly more hysterically (see, punning all over the place this evening), a very still, very tame vagina dentata – and no, no link to a picture, you awful people.
But here, lots of pictures of the actual fruit. What can it be? Answers on a gynaecological posctard, my dears.
And there we go!