【明報專訊】The fox was used to taking advantage of the chickens, so he was surprised to learn that they were actually quite intelligent. He inquired, with unusual humility, "Why do you all stay cooped up (受拘禁的) here if you know that you're going to be slaughtered any day?"
The hens cackled (咯咯叫) with laughter, "We're all gonna die, what's new? You, sly (狡詐的) fox, will end up dead too no matter how clever you are or how fast you run."
"That's true, ladies," admitted the fox, "but while there's life, there's hope. As the saying goes: those who fight and run away, will live to fight another day!"
The hens clucked in disapproval. "Really, what's the point of fighting day after day when you can never win in the end? We're very realistic here — we know that the farmer doesn't provide us with free food and lodging out of pure kindness. We end up on the dinner table eventually and that's the system. Maybe you can help us get a better deal?"
The fox shook his head sadly, "I wish I could but I'm only a wild animal and don't know much about a life of domesticity. Sometimes, I do envy you your creature comforts; cosy accommodation plus all the food you can eat. Me, I'm out hunting all year long, risking my life so my family can survive."
The hens were full of sympathy and offered him some spare space behind the henhouse and a share of their meal. The fox was deeply touched, "Who would have thought that you, of all creatures, would offer me food and shelter. I thank you but you must know that a wild animal like me cannot choose a domestic life; just as farm animals cannot choose to live free. Only humans enjoy that privilege."
■Something to think about
If you were an animal, would you prefer to live in the wild or on a farm? Which animal would you choose to be?