【明報專訊】It was a cold, damp, windy day and Mrs Tortoise was thankful that her shelter was warm and dry. Along came Mr Hare crying, ''Run, run for your life! Monsters, big monsters!''
''What? More monsters?'' asked the tortoise. ''We're just getting used to the tiny monsters. What can we do about these new ones?''
''Oh, I wish I knew. This big monster can grab you and take you far away to some awful secret place. My dear friend, what terrible times we live in — monsters big and small everywhere. Nowhere to hide, nowhere safe. I'm SO worried...''
''You poor thing! Do come in out of the cold and have a rest and a chat and a nibble of these fresh herbs. That'll make you feel better.''
''Oh, Mrs T, I really don't think that's going to improve the situation. We must get far away from all these monsters as soon as possible but I don't know how. I feel so overwhelmed!'' A big tear slid down his nose and he looked thoroughly miserable.
''There, there, you go ahead and have a good cry — these have been trying times (艱難時期) indeed for all of us. I know you're more sensitive than the rest of us and react very strongly to any change. Soon Spring will come and you and all the other hares will be leaping and dancing in the fresh, green meadow and all these worries will be behind us.''
''I only wish... I am hypersensitive (過於敏感的) so maybe I'm over-reacting, but I'm afraid by Spring most of us may be victims of these monsters and may never dance again!''
The tortoise shook her head wisely and said, ''Now, now, that's no way to think. You'll only make yourself feel worse. The situation is not all bad; we're actually safer since these monsters appeared as the fox, the wolf and even the humans don't dare go out much. Aren't we lucky to have this area to ourselves?''
The hare wiped away his tears and sniffled, ''I suppose you're right. There's a bright side to everything after all. You know me, I'm a nervous type so, at the first sign of danger, I just let my big feet carry me far away to safety. But it's been many, many months that I've been running and running — it all seems so hopeless and I'm so tired of it all!'' He broke into fresh sobs.
Mrs Tortoise tried her best to comfort her neighbour. ''Actually, I'm worried too! I'm not as stoical (堅忍的) as I look and sometimes I wish I had your long legs and could sprint away at the slightest sign of trouble. Then I realised that one can never outrun one's problems. It's best to accept the situation and do the best I can. Look at us — after all, we're still alive. While there's life, there's hope.''
''Yes, you're always calm and steady, which is admirable. I do feel a bit better now. You're right — there's nothing like a break and a chat with a friend to cheer one up. When Spring comes, let's all go dancing in the meadow!''
◆Something to：think about
In the city, many people do not get to know their neighbours. They isolate themselves and are suspicious of the people who live in the same building. When a crisis comes, they won't be able to give each other any support. This is a pity as good neighbours are a blessing. Can you think of ways to be a better neighbour?