【明報專訊】The lambs are enjoying their lunchbreak on their first day back at school. As they are munching on the fresh grass in the field, they talk excitedly about the class they just had.
''I never knew sheep had the right to take wolves to court by law! Who could imagine such a thing?'' said one of the youngest.
''Bah, don't be so naive! That's not what the teacher meant at all,'' interrupted an older student. ''She was telling us some old Russian fable which isn't really relevant to our situation. Just make sure you remember enough details when exam time comes. That's all that matters.''
''Hey, that's not so. Fables contain wisdom that we can learn from — we just need to learn how to interpret it so that it makes sense ...''
''Well, it makes absolutely NO sense,'' blurted the other. ''How can there be a 'perfect' law that gives sheep the right to take wolves to court for harassing them? Which sheep would dare enforce it? That'll be asking for big trouble. Wolves are fierce, strong and have large, sharp teeth whereas sheep are meek and have only flat teeth for grinding grass.''
''Maybe so, but once we are given certain rights by law, we should make an effort to protect them,'' cried several of his classmates.
''Don't be silly,'' shouts the older student. ''These so-called rights are meaningless. Don't you see? Even my dad, who's a full grown ram with big horns and twice the size of a wolf, doesn't dare take on a predator (捕獵者). We're prey animals, we run when we see predators — that's the natural law! All other laws are a joke.''
There is a chorus of protests. ''No, no, no! Why should we lambs and sheep always be the victims? Where's the justice in that? Why is it always the 'sacrificial lamb' (代罪羔羊)? Why are wolves never sacrificed? Isn't there any justice in this world?''
The older student gets totally exasperated (惱怒的) and exclaims, ''You bunch of idealistic fools! Walking straight into the trap that this so-called (所謂的) law set for you.''
The argument grows more and more heated and each side starts shouting and pushing and shoving. Some of the smaller lambs become very confused and want to leave but are too scared to do so.
In the midst of all this commotion, the alarm is suddenly raised. A large grey wolf is spotted prowling (四處覓食) near the school. The teachers hurriedly go to the field and herd their students safely back into the classroom.
(Adapted from a fable by Ivan Krylov 1769 - 1844)
■Something to think about
In the animal kingdom, it appears as if predator and prey can never get along. But in fact there are many cases of individuals from different species living together in harmony. Just check out the many Youtube videos of such unlikely animal pals. We humans have much to learn from them.